By Erica Thomas, managing editor
BIRMINGHAM (NWS) – The National Weather Service in Birmingham surveyed eight areas where they said tornadoes caused damage in the early-morning hours Sunday, April 14.
The first tornado was an EF-0 with an estimated wind peak of 80 mph. It started at 4:04 a.m. and uprooted trees from Oak Mountain Lake to the Shoal Creek Golf Club. Along the 6.48 miles path, homes and at least one car were damaged. In one home, three holes were put in the roof by flying debris, causing permanent water damage to the second floor.
The tornado made its way through the Highland Lakes subdivision, uprooting trees and causing some minor roof damage. Other areas impacted were Hugh Daniel Drive and Graystone Cove Drive.
At 4:14 a.m., an EF-0 tornado hit Shelby County at 4:14 a.m. It formed near Salter Lake just west of Calera and ended six minutes later near the Shelby County Airport. Trees were uprooted along the 2.97 miles path. Damage reported included six broken fences and roof damage to several homes.
Three tornadoes hit Pike County. The strongest there was an EF-1, packing 95 mph winds. A mobile home community along Hunters Mountain Parkway was hit and several homes sustained major damage. Around a dozen of the homes were moved off their foundations, while some of them rolled multiple times, according to The National Weather Service. Minor injuries were reported in the area, but those people were treated on the scene without having to go to the hospital. Cars were also rolled as the twister made its way across Highway 231. Power poles were snapped and several businesses sustained damage.
As the tornado neared downtown Troy, trees were uprooted and several homes were damaged. The two other tornadoes in Pike County were EF-0s. One hit near County Road 6, several miles south of Goshen. The other started in Crenshaw County where it caused damage to farm buildings, even carrying a tin roof some distance northeastward. As the tornado moved into Pike County, several trees and a gas station awning were damaged.
In Etowah County, an EF-1 caused damage from Glencoe to Hokes Bluff. With a maximum wind speed of 95 mph, the twister knocked down trees, picked up a car and shifted a home off its foundation. Roof and wall damage were reported, along with the destruction of outbuildings.
As the line of storms moved into east Alabama, an EF-0 tornado formed at the Phenix City Water Treatment Facility where it caused roof damage to the facility headquarters. The twister moved across the Chattahoochee River and continued into Georgia, snapping and uprooting trees along the way. Other reports of damage included gas station damage, downed power lines, roof damage and damage to a warehouse.
Another EF-1 tornado touched down in Marion County. That report is not complete.
The potent storm system also produced damaging straight-line winds and localized flooding in other areas.