HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. – Four people were killed when a tree fell on a home as a tornado swept through a rural Alabama community on Monday evening, authorities said.
The four were in a residence in the unincorporated community of Rehobeth when the storm struck. Crews were still working late Monday to remove the bodies from the structure, said Kris Ware, spokesman for the Houston County Emergency Management Agency.
The National Weather Service reported that a tornado was in the area at the time of the incident. Its size and strength will be determined when survey crews have examined the extent of the damage.
Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said seven people were inside the home when the storm hit, CNN affiliate WJHG reported.
The four victims were killed when the tree crashed through the roof of the home, county EMA Director Chris Judah said.
Ware said there were no immediate reports of other people being injured in the incident. Rehobeth is near Dothan, in southeastern Alabama.
Today, Governor Robert Bentley toured the area near the mobile home where four women were killed. Bentley also met with EMA workers and the victims’ families. Afterward, he spoke about the emotional meeting.
“We can replace structures and we can replace houses but we can’t replace people,” said Bentley. “You never get used to meeting with the families that suffer loses, like I just met with the family up there at the church.”
Rehobeth Mayor Joe Collins says he has no doubt the town will come back from this because of the love and support in this community.
Just spoke w/ Houston Co Sheriff Donald Valenza. Confirmed 4 fatalities in one structure in Rehobeth area. Prayers for those impacted today.
— Governor Robert Bentley (@GovRBentley) January 3, 2017
NWS has confirmed tornado touchdown in Rehobeth area.with severe damage and power outages. Rescue crews & law enforcement are at the scene.
— Mark Culver (@MarkCulver) January 3, 2017