Alabama Tornado Photos, Videos Show Widespread Destruction in Fultondale

A tornado ripped through central Alabama late Monday night, leaving widespread destruction and chaos in its wake.

Hardest hit was the city of Fultondale where multiple injuries and damage to homes, businesses and powerlines were reported.

The National Weather Service in neighboring Birmingham confirmed a tornado was on the ground in north Jefferson County near Fultondale around 10:45 p.m. on Monday.

The agency said they received reports of widespread damage in the Fultondale area and issued a tornado watch 4 until 6 a.m. Tuesday for 15 Alabama counties.

tornado, alabama, fultondale, hurst towing, justin hindman
Hurst Towing in Fultondale, Alabama, in shown following a tornado on January 26, 2021. Justin Hindman
 Alabama tornado
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch 4 until 6 a.m. Tuesday for 15 Alabama counties. The National Weather Service

The Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency urged residents in surrounding areas to "seek shelter now" in a tweet just after 11 p.m. local time.

Photos shared across social media showed significant damage to houses where walls and roofs had been entirely ripped off, leaving behind just the shaky internal foundations of some homes.

In some areas, piles of rubble were the only remains of buildings to be seen as fallen trees blocked roads and caused traffic chaos.

One hotel, the Hampton Inn on Fulton Road, sustained major damage, with guests now forced to find a new place to stay.

Working with first responders and snapping images when possible. In the worst damage. Storms in the area so we had to stop a minute. #ALwx pic.twitter.com/maeJfHlLWk

— Brett Adair (@AlaStormTracker) January 26, 2021

A CONFIRMED TORNADO is on the ground. If you live in the areas east of Fultondale... YOU NEED TO SEEK SHELTER NOW. https://t.co/8B9nW8Fm9V

— Jefferson County EMA (AL) (@EMAJeffCoAL) January 26, 2021

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee until 1 AM CST pic.twitter.com/nOKU8Ad3Gk

— NWS Tornado (@NWStornado) January 25, 2021

NEW tornado damage near Stony Brook Apartments in Fultondale from @WBRCnews reporter Bria Chatman pic.twitter.com/qbvwUFtywF

— Jonathan Hardison (@FOX6Hardison) January 26, 2021

Rescue units from county fire departments are currently on the scene, according to the Jefferson County emergency management agency.

Fultondale Police Chief D.P. Smith told al.com at least five people had been taken to hospital, several of them critically injured as crews are working to locate those who are injured and trapped in houses and collapsed buildings. The website also reported a death shortly after 3 a.m.

Mayor Larry Holcomb confirmed there have been around 20 reports of minor injuries with no current known fatalities as of 1 a.m. Tuesday.

"There are still people trapped in their homes that we are trying to access at this time," he told CBS42.

Holcomb said the storm cut a quarter mile wide path after touching down near I-65 before moving northeast to Fultondale High School, where there is substantial damage.

Storm damage in Fultondale. @abc3340 pic.twitter.com/Bcd6fw3fIe

— Byron Khalil (@ByronKhalilTV) January 26, 2021

BREAKING: This hotel sustained major damage in Fultondale. pic.twitter.com/YRM9Z3Cu2J

— Fred Davenport (@FredWVTM13) January 26, 2021

Major #tornado damage at a hotel in #Fultondale, #Alabama! #alwx pic.twitter.com/59BOt8vvmh

— Sheri Falk (@SheriFalkWVTM13) January 26, 2021

Reports from those on the ground poured in over Twitter.

"Got my wife and baby out of bedroom about 10 minutes b4 this happened. We r in Darlene Estates in Fultondale," Adam Sessums tweeted alongside a snap of his bedroom where a wooden beam had fallen after tearing through the wall.

Dave Moerbe, senior pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gardendale, described the scene at Georgetown Lane near Black Creek Park as "devastating."

"There are 45 homes in this community and all of them have some damage. ... Debris is everywhere,'' he told al.com. "We pulled one lady out of a back window because she couldn't get out."

His son Sam, 18, said the area "looks like a bomb went off," with 80 percent of houses enduring roof damage and 20 percent of homes collapsing entirely.

The Fultondale Fire Department has warned everyone to stay out of Fultondale so that first responders could work to assess the damage and respond to calls for help.

The counties of Bibb, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Etowah, Hale, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega and Tuscaloosa remain under a Tornado Watch until 6 a.m.

Got my wife and baby out of bedroom about 10 minutes b4 this happened. We r in Darlene Estates in Fultondale. Thank u weather radio! @spann pic.twitter.com/VFBWArlfSG

— Adam Sessums (@MSUZeppfan) January 26, 2021

PLEASE stay out of the Fultondale area. This includes but isnt limited to Carson Road, Black Creek Road, Pine Hill Road, and New Castle Road. On top of road dangers such as power lines and debris...traffic is clogging the roads. Once again, PLEASE stay out of the area.

— Jefferson County EMA (AL) (@EMAJeffCoAL) January 26, 2021

@RobinsonCarol southeastern freight lines took a hit off 79 in Tarrant. pic.twitter.com/FWzVQPkgt8

— The KerryCook (@TKerrycook) January 26, 2021

From my buddy who is NOT a storm chaser, but just happened to be in the Fultondale...he was in the Fultondale tornado. @apdavis18 is ok, but his rental car...not so much. #tornado #FultondaleTornado @Dave_Nussbaum @spann @NWSBirmingham @JimCantore @AriWeather #ALwx pic.twitter.com/o7tZFdFiy3

— Henry Rothenberg (@HenryRothenberg) January 26, 2021

Newsweek has contacted the Fultondale police department for comment.