Alabama Tornado Hits High School, Damages Prison

Tornados tore through Alabama early Friday morning causing significant damage and leaving hundreds of people in fear.

Residents of Huntsville in northeastern Alabama were hit with heavy tornados packed with large hail on Friday morning.

The storm blew off the roof of a local prison and also hit Buckhorn High School, which was filled with students at the time. The high school students huddled together in the hallways, having only minutes to find protection.

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"We didn't know if it was going to bust open at any minute," high school student Rose Scott told CNN.

The power of the storm was so strong that Scott's hair blew as she waited in the hallway for the storm to pass.

The school sustained damages, as did vehicles parked in the parking lot. Thus far, no injuries have been reported.

Dozens of states across the U.S. have been facing the severe weather conditions that have left millions across the heartland freighted over the kind of damage the often violent and deadly storms may cause. Just days ago, three women lost their lives to powerful tornados in Tennessee.

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on earth and have affected every state in the United States, to varying degrees. The U.S. has more tornados on average a year than any other country.

The National Weather Service describes a tornado as a "violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground and pendant from a thunderstorm."

Several safety measures have been issued for people living in regions are frequented by the storms. Experts warn that people in the midst of a tornado should stay away from windows, find safety in low lying areas such as a basement, storm cellar, or low level of a building, and go to the center of a room.

It is also suggested, if time permits, to protect the head with mattresses and blankets, or use one's arms to provide protection for the head and neck.

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