Storms cut through AL causing extensive damage in some areas

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Weather surveyors continue to inspect damage left by Saturday's storms.
     
The National Weather Service says an EF-3 tornado caused extensive damage in Parrish in Walker County and continued a path of damage across northern Jefferson and southwestern Blount Counties.
    
A total of 70 to 80 homes and businesses were damaged with one home destroyed and at least one fatality has been reported. In Walker County, a 50-year-old woman was walking to her storm shelter before the tornado arrived, but she slipped and fell and died as a result of the fall.

The storm's path is still visible in Walker County. Many trees were toppled by the heavy winds. Heavy rains created problems along County Road 20 between Cordova and Sumiton. Several homes and a car were damaged.     

In Cordova, Mount Zion Baptist Church members spent Sunday cleaning up. Members showed up to worship even though their church building was destroyed by fallen trees. They held a service in the shade of the few trees that remain standing. Also, they toured the neighborhood to assess the damage and find out how they could help.

 "God is always good," says church member Melza McElrath. "You know, after the rain the sun always shines. It's God's will, but we hope this will bring us closer together as a family, as a church family."

The church's pastor, Darren Allen, says the nearby Saint James CME Church was damaged. Allen says his church hopes to help that congregation as well.

In Birmingham, torrential rainfall created flash flooding in the metro area Saturday afternoon. Floodwaters began creeping near the entrance to several apartments. Part of 31st street was completely covered. Birmingham police had to close the street for several hours. In north Birmingham, fifty-mile-an-hour wind gusts blew a tree down onto power lines and knocked out power to the neighborhood.

In Corner in Jefferson County, neighbors are surveying the damage to their homes and yards. Most folks say they are grateful no one was injured, but most are still in shock over the powerful storm that rolled through Saturday night. One home was destroyed in the area and one man lost his barn. Homeowner Tim McCutcheon says as soon as he heard thunder, he packed up the kids and headed to Gardendale to get ice cream. That is why his family was not in the house when a tree fell on their roof.

In Cullman County, businesses and homes are damaged but neighbors are banding together to help clean up. The weather service says an EF-2 tornado is responsible for the damage. The storm touched down on Highway 31 near County Road 601. It tracked to the northeast, damaging businesses in Phelan and snapping trees along the way. The tornado destroyed two chicken houses, throwing debris from the tin roof more than a mile away. The National Weather Service says the Cullman County storm was on the ground for about six miles and packed winds peaking near 115 miles per hour.

A funnel cloud was spotted in Pickens County. It is still unclear if the cloud was an actual tornado.

In north Alabama, authorities confirm that a tornado did indeed touch down in Marshall and DeKalb Counties. 33 people were hurt but none of the injuries were believed to be serious. Much of Albertville is without power and Albertville City Schools will be closed today. The tornado knocked down hundreds of trees and power lines and caused major damage to the Albertville High School football stadium.

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