Staci DeGeer stand in the remains of her home in Auburn, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. Several trees were tossed into her kitchen, living room and bedroom during a windstorm. A path of storms swept across the state leaving behind fallen trees and some heavy wind damage. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A strong storm system that produced several possible tornadoes hit the Southeast on Wednesday, damaging dozens of homes and buildings. At least one person was killed and more than a dozen others were injured.
Suspected tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and thousands of people were without power as trees and power lines were downed.
In eastern Alabama, a suspected twister splintered trees and demolished mobile homes at a pair of housing parks near the Auburn University campus. Less than seven months ago, a massive tornado roared past the campus of archrival University of Alabama in the western part of the state.
It was the worst bout of weather for the state since about 250 people were killed during the tornado outbreak in April. Both campuses were spared major damage this time.
As weather service experts fanned out to assess damage, Auburn graduate student Staci DeGeer didn't have any doubts about what sent a pair of trees crashing through her mobile home at Ridgewood Village.
"It's tornado damage. I'm from Kansas; I know tornado damage," said DeGeer, who wasn't home at the time. "It's kind of hit or miss. There will be two or three (trailers) that are bad and then a few that are OK."
In north Georgia, an unidentified person was killed when a tree fell on a sport utility vehicle, said Capt. Tim House of the Forsyth County sheriff's office.
A similar scene occurred in southeastern Mississippi, where Jones County emergency director Don McKinnon said some people were briefly trapped in their homes as trees fell on them. Mobile homes were tossed off their foundations. In all, 15 people were hurt in the area.
As the weather moved east, tornado warnings and watches were issued in Georgia and South Carolina.
Forecasters said a cold front stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast was to blame. Temperatures dropped in some areas from the low 70s to the 50s as the front passed, and winds gusted to near 30 mph.
Damage was reported in several parts of Alabama. In Sumter County, in the west-central part of the state, an elderly woman was in her home as a tree crashed into it. She had to be taken to the hospital.
In Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama, the day was a harsh reminder of the threat of violent weather for communities still recovering from the killer tornadoes.
"It makes you sit up on the edge of the chair a little more," said Tom Perryman, who works for the school system in Tuscaloosa County, which was hard hit in April.
Some 130 miles to the east, the ailing oaks at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn campus were OK. An Alabama fan is suspected of poisoning the famous trees in February.