‘Large and Extremely Dangerous’ Tornado Reported in Alabama Damages Buildings

by Matthew Memrick

A “large and extremely dangerous” tornado in central Alabama damaged buildings and killed at least one person on Thursday.

Fox 6 reported three people suffered critical injuries while five others had minor wounds in Hale County. Fox Weather provided additional information about the rough weather in the northern part of the county.

The Hale County EMA director told WBRC that emergency personnel pulled the deceased woman from under a home.

Birmingham’s National Weather Service station reported on the extreme weather conditions. The tornado came from Mississippi and picked up strength in Hale County, just south of Tuscaloosa. 

The state’s storm prediction center said the storm would bring wind gusts up to 60 mph. Hail was also possible depending on the strength of the storms. 

“Everybody’s OK, thank God,” Akron resident Tiffany Thomas told The Tuscaloosa News. “No one was injured, just a lot of damage.”

Thomas traveled to Sawyerville to assist relatives affected by the storm. 

Tornado Hit Two Towns

There were several reports of tree damage on homes in York and Sawyerville.

Live Storms Media’s Ryan Cartee reported seeing a two-story home in Sawyerville without its top floor. He also witnessed a mobile home foundation without its house on top

“There were a couple other houses that had some extensive damage as well,” Cartee said.

Radar analyst Bryan Wilson said the tornado tossed two trucks into a pond. 

One county commissioner said she would check on residents “as soon as I get this tree off our driveway.”

Weather researchers do not have an intensity estimate of Thursday’s scale yet.

Tornado Spurs Warnings In Other Counties

Authorities issued short tornado warnings for Bibb, Jefferson, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa counties. Those warnings, however, only lasted for minutes.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado in Tuscaloosa County near Duncanville. 

There was some flooding in Tuscaloosa. WBRC reported that EMS officials saw one submerged car with others taking detours. 

The rain also prompted flood warnings throughout the state. The Birmingham News reported that an additional 2 to 3 inches of rain would be possible in some areas, especially northern Alabama. Jackson, Thomasville, and Grove Hill had flash flood warnings until 7 p.m. Eastern. 

The fast-moving weather pattern also brought the possibility of ice in northern and northwestern Alabama areas, including Florence.

The newspaper said icy could form on roads early Friday morning in Russellville and portions of Tennessee (Suwanee) near the border.

The weather service said some freezing rain would be possible in northwest Alabama as cold air rushes in behind the front tonight. It could cause a few slick spots on roads early Friday morning before temperatures rise above freezing.