U.S.

Severe Storms, Tornado and Baseball-Sized Hail Cause Damage Across Alabama

As the East Coast prepared for a fourth nor’easter to hit the region in March, the northern and eastern parts of Alabama were besieged by a series of storms that included devastating tornadoes and baseball-sized hailed.

Homes, schools, churches and business were damaged and thousands in the state were left without power.

The storms traveled through the state, passing through Huntsville and Cullman by 8 p.m. and striking Calhoun County around 8:55 p.m., AL.com reported. County emergency management agencies urged area residents to remain indoors and shelter until warnings were lifted.

A large tornado struck the area around 8:40 p.m. (9:40 p.m. ET), the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

Jacksonville State University officials reported the school has suffered major damage to the roofs of the basketball arena and two of its freshman dormitories, Patterson and Logan halls. NBC News reported that no injuries were immediately confirmed at the college.

The school said late Monday that despite being on spring break, university police were going door to door to check on any students who may have been on campus during the storms.

The West Point Baptist Church was destroyed by the tornado, Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade confirmed. In a message to parishioners, the church also confirmed the damage, saying reports of the damage were “too sad to believe.”

“Our building may never be the same, but God will use it for His glory and make it better and stronger than before,” it said in a Facebook post. West Point Baptist Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

Fire officials in Jacksonville announced that several homes had suffered significant damage. The Jacksonville Fire Department said fire crews are helping clear the roads and asked that anyone interested in volunteering to help with the recovery efforts report to the Jacksonville Community Center on 501 Alexandria Road SW.

Another possible tornado was also reported in Franklin County on Monday afternoon. Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency reported that nearly all city buses and many police vehicles were damaged in the town of Cullman.

The fire department and a Waffle House restaurant in Russellville were also damaged, as were homes, trees and power lines in Ardmore in Limestone County.

The NWS announced Tuesday that a tornado watch had been issued in parts of Florida and Georgia. The weather service said a few tornadoes, tennis ball-sized hail and strong winds with gusts up to 70 miles per hour were likely. 

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