Tuscaloosa begins cleanup after devastation - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa begins cleanup after devastation

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Crews in Tuscaloosa had a busy night from Wednesday to Thursday.

All throughout the day on Wednesday, Tuscaloosa received damage from heavy storms. Around 5:10 p.m., a massive tornado was spotted moving through the downtown, coming within a quarter of a mile from the University of Alabama campus.

Crews worked throughout the night to find survivors, keep order and restore services. Several members of the Tuscaloosa Fire Department and Police Department performed their duties straight through the night.

More than a dozen people have been found to be dead in Tuscaloosa. More deaths are expected to be discovered as the cleanup progresses.

Many in the area are out looking for loved ones. FOX6 Reporter Alan Collins met a couple who were looking for their daughter, 22-year-old Ashley Harrison. Harrison was last seen visiting her boyfriend, Crimson Tide longsnapper Carson Tinker, at 611 21st Street. Ashley's parents flew in from Dallas, Texas on Wednesday night to come look for her. They are asking for help in the search and anyone with information to call authorities. Harrison is described as 5'5", 125 lbs. with brown hair.

Outages run rampant in the city and services are out or limited. Authorities have requested that residents in East Tuscaloosa limit their water use. Several people in the area have reported the smell of natural gas from leaking pipes.

Search and Rescue in the area continues. Officials say the cleanup will take a very long time for the city.

To see more photos of Tuscaloosa damage, visit the MyFoxAL Flickr.

To get a missing person on our "Please help find..." story, send an email to web@wbrc.com.

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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