Thursday's severe storms comprised a rare "derecho," forecasters said. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service say the widespread, long-lived wind storms generally happen only once a decade in central Alabama. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center says a derecho is defined as "a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms variously known as a squall line, bow echo, or quasi-linear convective system." Thursday's storms took down many trees and power lines. Alabama Power Friday evening was still working to restore service. The power company reported 19,000 outages statewide, including 9,000 in the Birmingham metro.
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