With winds roaring Tuesday night, Layken Mandeville looked outside her second-story Fifth Street apartment in downtown Tuscumbia and saw a large awning that had landed on the street.

"At first, it landed on top of the street and then it rolled and landed on top of my car," Mandeville said.

She said the winds were so strong that part of the awning ended up trapped beneath the left rear wheel of her vehicle while much of it was wrapped on top of the car.

It was part of the damage from a fierce storm that roared through the Shoals on Tuesday night, packing winds over 50 mph and featuring frequent lightning.

No injuries were reported, although the storm caused downed trees and numerous outages, officials said.

A vehicle belonging to Mandeville's neighbor, Jeremy Brewer, was parked beside Mandeville's. The awning damaged the rear of Brewer's vehicle and busted out the back windshield.

"Mine got hit first, and then the awning tilted over hers like a burrito," he said. "Just to tell you how high the winds were, part of it (the awning) is under her tire."

Brewer said he was amazed by the storm's intensity.

"With what seemed like a tornado, hurricane and devil all at once, I didn't know what to think," he said.

The awning apparently ripped from a building on Main Street that is connected with the Fifth Street buildings and rolled over the roof before landing on Fifth Street.

David Reed and friends were playing cards in his building across the street when it happened.

"It sounded like the sound of a garbage truck dumping a dumpster," Reed said.

Michael Smith, director of the Colbert County Emergency Management Agency, said an awning also was damaged at the 1120 Medical Office Building of Helen Keller Hospital.

In addition, a limb fell on a vehicle while someone was driving it on Willingham Hill Road, but it did not strike the driver, Smith said.

He said calls poured into the 911 office once the storm hit.

"It was hairy there for awhile, but everybody did a good job responding," Smith said.

Lauderdale EMA Director George Grabryan said he was on the phone with meteorologists with the National Weather Service office in Huntsville as the storm was approaching.

"They said they were concerned about how much lightning was coming in," Grabryan said. "There was a great deal of lightning and the rainfall was pretty heavy. We had several tree-related incidents."

He said trees were reported down on Lauderdale 2 near Lauderdale 23; as well as the intersection of Lauderdale 146-14; on Lauderdale 27, 8, 7 and 323; Pine Street in Florence near Norton Auditorium; Veterans Drive at Main Street; Atlanta Street; Lawrence Street; Appleby Boulevard; Rasch Road near Greenview Memorial Cemetery; Virginia Avenue; and Turtle Cove and Heron Cove.

"Fortunately we had no injuries out of any of that," Grabryan said. "In light of everything that came through, we certainly could have had a lot more damage than we did."

Weather service meteorologist Andy Kula said there were reports of 50 to 55 mph winds in the Shoals. He said winds at the Colbert EMA office in downtown Tuscumbia reached 51 mph at 9:01 p.m.

"A lot of that was from the outflow from the storms," Kula said.

He said the storm did not contain tornadoes. "It didn't have the wind sheer for tornadoes, thankfully."

The storm occurred hours after the heat index in the Shoals reached 112 degrees, according to the weather service. Kula said the rain knocked down temperatures slightly Wednesday, although it still was muggy.

He said a secondary front containing cooler, drier air moves in today. The high will be near 90.

"That may last a couple of days, and then it will get muggy again," Kula said.

Friday's high will be near 93 degrees with a heat index as high as 97, according to the forecast. Saturday's high will be near 97.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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