— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Workers are trying to restore electrical service in central Alabama after unexpectedly strong winds blew down trees and snapped power lines.
The National Weather Service says winds gusting to near 50 mph moved across Tuscaloosa and Birmingham late Thursday.
Alabama Power Co. says about 17,000 homes and businesses lost power, and a few thousand were still without electricity early Friday.
Forecasters say the high winds were caused by a rapid change in air pressure.
The weather service says parts of Alabama could see as much as 5 inches of rain by early next week, and some areas could receive even more rain in small downpours.
Forecasters say the storms are from an unseasonably warm and humid air mass that is moving across the Southeast.