Storm cleanup begins in Empire

By Arielle Clay

EMPIRE, AL (WBRC) - Wind from the storm that ripped through the community of Empire blew the Assembly of God's steeple to the ground.

"It was a pretty tough wind that caused this," the church's pastor said.

Service was cancelled Sunday at the church because of the damage and a power outage.

The church's steeple wasn't only the thing the wind knocked down.  Trees fell along Empire Road blocking several driveways.

"Trying to get it where we can get out," Lloyd Thomas said. "Seven families live up on this road and can't nobody get out."

Thomas and his neighbors were stuck at home after several downed trees blocked off their driveway.  Trees also damaged Thomas' roof and garage.

"The front end of it is up in the truck now and it was back about 10 feet," he said.

Several others living off of Empire Road worked to clear away trees.

"We were cutting trees from across the road so we can get out," Gary Leach said. "My wife has diabetes. If she needs medical help I can't get someone in here to help her."

Just down the road, Carolyn Franklin didn't have to clear trees but still had to worry about fixing a missing roof.

"It took the roof completely off and the inside is completely drowned," she said.

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