JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The National Weather Service confirms a tornado hit in the McAdory area of West Jefferson County.
Injuries have been reported, as well as damage to homes.
The Jefferson County Sheriff says four people were injured and taken to the hospital.
As of 10:50 p.m., they said they have no reported fatalities or serious injuries.
Randy Christian with the Sheriff’s Office says 12 homes sustained significant damage and several other have light to moderate damage.
Christian also said power remains out to most of the area between Lindsay Loop and Pocahontas Roads.
Emergency personnel are staging at the McAdory Fire Station #1.
There is a shelter set up at the Oasis of Praise Church on Pocahontas Road. Pastor Allan Kendrick with Oasis of Praise says he has room for at least 150 people. Not many have come by seeking shelter yet, but Kendrick says he will be here all night and into tomorrow.
Homeowners in Bent Brook are left picking up the pieces.
Several homes in that area are damaged or destroyed, and tree limbs crushed cars in their own driveways.
The scene has been called a “nightmare” by people in the Bent Brook subdivision in Bessemer.
Just take a walk down the street, and you’ll see roofs ripped from homes–doors torn from entryways–and tree limbs littering the road.
The storm hit shortly after 6 in Bent Brook subdivision. The tornado came quickly through this area, badly damaging at least five homes here, causing minor damage to many more.
We are told there have been minor injuries here–but nothing serious.
We also spoke to homeowner Ben Allison–a former fire battalion chief–whose roof caved in, and whose front door was nearly ripped off the hinges.
He jumped into action when the storm struck.
“I told my wife, I said, get in the laundry room, and I didn’t even have time to grab my dog. As soon as I got her in, the door closed shut. I got on top of her, and I hear my roof leave or be drawn away,” Allison recalled.
Gas crews have been out tonight, making sure there are no leaks in the area.
EMTs continue to knock on doors in this neighborhood, just making sure everyone is okay.
We’ve seen many neighbors also in the streets, checking on each other and offering to help.
We’ve heard the same thing from a lot of them.
We won’t know how bad the damage really is–until the sun comes up in the morning.