JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. - The National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed Thursday that a tornado touched down in the town of Fairfield, located just outside of Birmingham.
The NWS states that the damage to a local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant as well as an ABC beverage store is consistent with an EF-2 tornado capable of producing 120 mph wind speeds:
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
511 PM CDT THU JUN 22 2017
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
1227 PM TORNADO 1 NW MIDFIELD 33.47N 86.92W
06/22/2017 JEFFERSON AL NWS STORM SURVEY
*** 3 INJ ***
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE REPORTED AT A LIQUOR STORE
NEAR WESTERN HILLS MALL IN FAIRFIELD.
POSSIBLE ENTRAPMENT AND 3 INJURIES REPORTED.
STORM SURVEY FINDS DAMAGE CONSISTENT WITH
ESTIMATED 120 MPH WINDS, EF-2 NEAR THE
INTERSECTION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING
BOULEVARD AND WEIBEL DRIVE.
Damage reported throughout Jefferson County
The NWS says several businesses were damaged -- even leveled -- as the storm moved through Fairfield.
The tornado injured three people, including one person who was inside the ABC Beverage store. Another person was injured in a nearby home.
The tornado damaged the ABC Beverage store as well as a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and an Express Oil Change auto service center.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service responded to initial reports of the storm damage.
The department also sent a heavy rescue unit to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Fairfield for a structural collapse.
The NWS also reported the following damage due to the storm:
- Two 18-wheelers overturned in a parking lot off of Cairo Avenue
- As many as 14 vehicles damaged at the Freeway Honda in Ensley (two miles away from Fairfield)
- Collapse of the old Jim Burke building in Ensley
Tropical Depression Cindy's link to Alabama's severe weather
WHNT News 19 Meteorologist Christina Edwards was watching the storm on radar. "Quick spin-up tornadoes commonly develop as tropical systems move onshore," she explained.
"By nature, the tropical systems have a lot of rotation within them. As the systems interact with the uneven land terrain, brief tornadoes can form. They usually last about 5 to 15 minutes. They are difficult to predict because they can form and dissipate very quickly."
The WHNT News 19 team of meteorologists has you covered should storms in the TN Valley become severe. Check the latest forecast here.
Below is an archive of the storm damage reports as the situation unfolded.