Extremely warm temperatures and an unstable weather pattern led to some tornado warnings in central Alabama this Christmas evening. Those storms, including a possible tornado, caused some damage to several homes in southwest Birmingham.
The storms began in Tuscaloosa County during the afternoon. That prompted the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning. That warning expired at 4 p.m. as the storm moved into Jefferson County.
The NWS then issued a tornado warning in Jefferson County. The storm, which produced a possible tornado, damaged homes in the area of Jefferson Avenue Southwest and 50th Street SW.
Mayor William Bell said one person has been hospitalized. That victim's condition remains unknown.
Luckily, Bell says there have been no reports of missing people.
Bell says the damage is limited to a small area with several homes severely damaged. The city is reaching out to the Red Cross to assist the residents with damaged homes.
Alabama Power and Alagasco are working to turn off electricity and gas in the area so house-to-house search and rescue efforts can continue.
No word yet on how many people may be displaced from their homes.
One woman gave her description of the storm.
Next thing I know, I looked out the house and heard 'Get down! It's a tornado! It's a tornado!' I came out and folks' houses vanished and people crying and heartbroke. The only thing I've got to say: I thank God because He kept me. That's my praise. I'm still standing. He rode me through the storm, the storm and the rain. And I give Him the praise.
Neighbors began assisting one another once the storm passed.
"I heard a lot of noise at our house, a lot of noise. You couldn't see down the road. You could hardly see out your door. As soon as it was over with, I knew to get up and try to go help somebody," one neighbor said.
The National Weather Service has canceled all tornado warnings for the state of Alabama. Flooding is now the concern as heavy rain continues across most central Alabama counties.
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