Destructive Tornado Damages Homes in Alabama
January 20, 2019
Source: The Weather Channel
Approximate locations sustaining property damage:
- Wetumpka (Elmore County, 36092, 36093)
NOTE: This is not yet a FEMA Declared Disaster.
A line of strong thunderstorms on the wet side of Winter Storm Harper spun up several tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Saturday, including an EF2 tornado that caused extensive damage in Wetumpka, Alabama. A total of seven tornadoes have been confirmed.
Reports on social media say the tornado brought down trees, damaged homes, destroyed a historic Presbyterian church and damaged the Wetumpka Police Department. Only one minor injury was reported.
“We have several buildings downtown with serious structural damage,” Sheriff Bill Franklin told the Montgomery Advertiser. “People may not be able to see that damage. The buildings are in danger of collapsing. We don’t want anymore injuries than we already have.”
Mayor Jerry Willis said at a Sunday morning news conference that the town “suffered a tremendous amount of damage.”
“Something that we’ve never had here before,” he added.
The National Weather Service also confirmed Sunday an EF1 tornado in Autauga County and an EF1 tornado in Coosa County near Rockford.
Earlier in the day, an EF0 tornado in Rankin County, Mississippi, knocked down several trees. A second EF1 tornado in Rankin County knocked down trees and power lines.
Buildings on Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida were damaged by an EF1 tornado early Saturday evening, according to base officials. The tornado moved a car, ripped roofs off of barracks and flipped dumpsters.
The National Weather Service office in Birmingham is sending two survey crews to the affected areas in four counties on Sunday to determine the severity of tornado damage.