COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. — Sounds of chainsaws and excavators filled the Colbert Heights community of Colbert County Tuesday morning.
The National Weather Service confirmed at least four tornados touched down in north Alabama in severe storms Monday evening—including an EF-2 in Colbert Heights.
Several homes and buildings sustained roof damage in the area of Woodmont Drive, Lynn Drive, and Crestview Circle. Strong winds knocked down power lines and trees leaving the area, including the nearby Colbert Heights High School without power.
EMA Director Michael David Smith says efforts to restore most of the power have since been successful. Power was restored at the high school late Monday night.
"It's going to be a long recovery process for a lot of folks. We are looking at approximately about a 4-mile stretch of damage," said Smith. He added the majority of the damage will be cleaned throughout the week but there will be lingering effects.
One resident who took shelter in the bathroom with his wife during the tornado said they're lucky to be alive. The tornado partially uprooted a tree in their front yard.
"The scary part was, had it went for another 2 or 3 minutes, this tree would've probably come through the house and we wouldn't be here talking," said homeowner Brian Baker. "I went to work at 4 o'clock this morning; it's probably lifted probably another 6 or 8 inches since I went to work this morning." A tree service has since removed the tree.
Despite heavy damage in the area, no serious injuries have been reported. The Colbert County EMA says the area is still dangerous, especially at night, so if you don't have a reason for being there, for your safety, please stay away.
If you would like to volunteer to help in clean-up efforts, you're asked to report to the First Baptist Church Colbert Heights at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Church staff members say they will provide breakfast.