Tornado, Floods Hit Alabama City

Severe weather has now killed at least 15
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Tornado, Floods Hit Alabama City
Birmingham firefighters work a scene after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., damaging several houses, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala.    (Butch Dill)

A Christmas Day tornado touched down in north-central Alabama, including part of Birmingham, in the latest wave of severe weather that's hammered the South this week. The funnel was spotted by witnesses outside the city about 5pm Friday. An hour later, the National Weather service confirmed that first responders were on the scene along Jefferson Avenue, a working class neighborhood less than 10 miles from downtown Birmingham. House were damaged and several people were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries but there were no reports of fatalities. The city was also hit by severe flooding, reports NBC.

Unseasonably warm weather helped spawn torrential rain and deadly tornadoes that by Friday had left at least 15 people dead and dozens of families homeless. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who has declared a state of emergency in all counties affected by excessive rain, plans to tour flood-damaged areas. The governor's office said in a statement that nearly 200 roads in the state are closed due to flooding. Residents in northern Alabama were warned to be alert for moderate to severe flooding Saturday. Volunteers are distributing sandbags in the town of Elba, where the Pea River was projected to crest at 43 feet, about a foot below the levees that protect the area. (Read more Alabama stories.)

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