Storms roll through Mid-South causing damage throughout Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Storms moving through the Mid-South have caused damage across the city of Memphis. Crews responded to a gas main break sending flames shooting to the sky, thousands are without power, trees are down and a building has collapsed.

Hazmat crews are cleaning up what's left of a fiery gas main break Friday night. The street reopened late Friday night after a gas line explosion at Florida and Trigg where a giant fuel-fed flame shot into the air.

Firefighters had to wait on MLGW to shut off the gas before they could extinguish that fire. We're told a number of downed power lines caused the gas line to erupt. No one was hurt and no property was damaged except for a few power lines, poles and part of the street.

Folks attending a nearby church service were interrupted first by the power outage then the explosion.

"The power went out and I left to get flashlights, etc." said church member A.J. Stokes. "When I came back I wasn't able to get back in."

"And when I came back to get my family I was told I couldn't," said Gwendolyn Walker. "So, we're just standing here waiting on them to come out."

Crews continue to address the broken gas line. Meanwhile, other workers are trying to re-establish power in this area and others across the city, a process that may take a while.

Wild winds also took down a building in South Memphis Friday night.

People who live next to the building on South Parkway say they thought the world was coming to an end.  They say they started seeing a lot of wind then things blowing down the street, and then the ground started shaking.

Then the brick building started falling down sending up dust, residents say, as it collapsed. Firefighters used infrared to make sure no one was inside. The building was vacant. Police blocked the street around the store to insure safety for the people living nearby. Residents said it took only seconds for the building to come down.

Memphis Police and neighbors confirm strong winds were the cause of the collapse.

In the midst of Friday night's storm a tree fell on a house in the 200 block of Patterson near the University of Memphis area. We are told two students were renting the home.

The tree came down around 7:30 PM. Fortunately no one was injured.

Memphis Fire, Police and MLGW crews have been responding for hours to calls of transformer fires and downed power lines.

Friday night more than 10 thousand people were without power. Crews are working to turn the lights back on.  For breaking updates and to track storms stay with Action News 5 and

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.