Storms Pound US South; Twister Touches Down in Alabama

A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday in the U.S. South as a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Alabama, including through the southwest portion of Birmingham, the state's largest city.

Witnesses spotted the funnel outside the city about 5 p.m. An hour later, the National Weather Service confirmed that first responders were on the scene along Jefferson Avenue in a working-class neighborhood about eight miles from downtown Birmingham.

Lieutenant Sean Edwards, a Birmingham police spokesman, said trees were down and people were trapped inside damaged houses, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.

Weather radar Friday evening showed an intense system along the Interstate 20/59 corridor west of Birmingham, with the storm moving eastward. Flooding was reported in counties throughout the region, as heavy rain continued to fall.

The Alabama tornado was the latest development in a series of storms that has hammered the South during Christmas week. Unseasonably warm weather on Wednesday helped spawn torrential rain and deadly tornadoes that left at least 14 people dead and dozens of families homeless by Christmas Eve.


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