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Funnel Cloud Kills One, Damages School

May 21, 1987

DOUBLE SPRINGS, Ala. (AP) _ A funnel cloud arrived without warning, skipped over one school and struck another Thursday, killing one person and demolishing a mobile home used as an office, authorities said.

The victim, a construction worker, was taken to Burdick-West Memorial Hospital in Haleyville, where he died a short time later, said David Sutherland, a deputy sheriff in Winston County. The man’s identity was not released immediately.

The storm struck early in the afternoon, said Buck Wakefield, an auto mechanics teacher at the Winston County Area Vocation School.

″We were lucky,″ he said. ″It went right over us and hit the high school.″

The wind damaged the roof of the high school and a cover over a walkway.

The victim was doing construction work at the high school. No one was in the demolished mobile home.

″We were lucky that school was out for the year Wednesday and we didn’t have any students at the school,″ Wakefield said, adding that only a handful of teachers were on hand finishing work for the school year.

″We didn’t have any warning,″ Wakefield said of the funnel cloud.

Boyce Overton, superintendent of transportation for the county school board, said he saw a twister disappear over nearby Smith Lake.

Sutherland said police reported that some citizens claimed to have seen a funnel cloud.

A spokesman with the National Weather Service in Montgomery said the agency had received no reports of a tornado. No tornado warnings had been issued for the area.

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