A tree fell on the home of a young man in Jefferson County, causing a landslide, which took his life. The authorities said that the damage caused by the meteorological phenomenon is “considerable.”
One person died and at least five were injured after a tornado hit Jefferson County, Alabama, on Monday night, causing extensive damage, with trees downed and buildings destroyed.
Authorities certified the death of a young man who had been trapped in the basement of his home at around 3 a.m. (local time), Fultondale Police Chief DP Smith said, according to AL.com.
A tree fell on the victim’s home and caused a landslide, Smith said. The victim and his family had taken shelter in the basement and were trapped below. Other family members suffered serious injuries while one was unharmed, the police chief added.
James Coker, director of the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said that search and rescue efforts are still continuing.
Coker told CNN that the tornado damage is “considerable”, and that it affected a “residential and commercial area.”
“Our current goal is always safety,” Coker said. “This is not only for the people who may have been injured, but also for the rescuers who help them,” he added.
There are currently five Jefferson County Fire Department heavy rescue crews responding to the Fultondale and Center Point areas.
The EMA is using a drone and helicopters to track the path of the storm in conjunction with the US National Weather Service, Coker noted.
The Jefferson County tornado watch has now been lifted, though nearby areas like Clanton and western Georgia remain under surveillance.
Interstate 65 near Walker Chapel Road was closed last night due to downed power lines and debris, as workers continued to remove obstacles from the roads.
Several homes and other buildings were damaged by the storm, including a Hampton Inn hotel that suffered significant structural damage.
Coker urged neighbors to stay alert and away from the affected area so that emergency workers can continue with rescue efforts.
Jefferson County reported that eleven schools in the area will be closed due to the storm.