(WIAT) — A weather alert has been issued by WIAT 42 Storm Track team for the possibility of tornadoes and straight line winds.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tornado watch for Alabama counties. Included are Autauga Bibb Chilton Dallas Greene Hale Jefferson Lowndes Marengo Perry Pickens Shelby Sumter Tuscaloosa until 4 a.m. CST.
Below is a Twitter widget including tweets from the WIAT team who is covering the severe weather on the ground as well as the National Weather Service in Birmingham.
The severe weather left a lot of people without a roof over their head. Aliceville saw a lot of damage, where WIAT 42’s Tim Reid was on the ground. As many as 13 houses were destroyed and many more were damaged in the community. About 75 people were displaced according to the Alabama Red Cross.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a tornado touched down in Pickens County. The power of the storm tore some mobile homes apart. Trees and power lines were knocked down and many are without power.
EMA officials said most of the storm damage happened on MLK Road and the Sapps Road community.
Residents are giving thanks because no lives were lost.
“I was too busy praying to worry about what was going on, I was just calling on the name of Jesus asking Him to take care of us,” resident Daisy Jackson said. “I don’t know what had happened until I came out of that closet and I saw all the damage and I got nervous then. But I was grateful to God He brought us through it.”
Many residents took shelter in a community storm shelter. Officials say there were only minor injuries.
Another area that saw storm damage was Fayette County. WIAT 42 News Reporter Stephon Dingle spoke with a man whose house was spared, but trees were downed all around his property.
Ray Tucker is one of many people counting their blessings Tuesday night after a tornado ripped through the back roads of Fayette County, knocking down trees and leaving many roads impassable. Tucker found his way, where thankfully his home, his dogs and his horses were all unaffected despite the trees falling all around.
“Thank God we are all okay, that’s a the main thing anytime you have a storm,” Tucker said. “Oh yea we pay attention when it’s bad weather, Alabama’s no toy, it’s not as bad as Oklahoma maybe or Texas, but when we have one it’s usually bad.”
WIAT 42 News reporter Alex Finnie is on the ground in Lamar County. She’s reporting a lot of roads left impassable by downed trees.
In Carbon Hill, WIAT 42’s Jamie Ostroff reports several community shelters opened ahead of the severe weather. The Walker County community spent the evening anxiously waiting.
Earlier, people had their phones out, checking forecasts, watching radars while hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
“I get my kids, I get their jackets on, and when they say ‘shelter’s open,’ that’s where we go,” Sharon Perryman, Carbon Hill resident said.
People started going home around 7:30 p.m., a little after the first wave of tornado warnings expired.
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