A tornado touched down Friday near Birmingham, Alabama, the National Weather Service confirmed. The twister struck southwest Jefferson County, and moved toward the city around 5 p.m. local time, destroying three structures and damaging a fourth.
Local meteorologist Jason Holmes said witnesses reported seeing a funnel cloud, which the weather service confirmed, according to an Associated Press report. A reporter at the scene from AL.com, an Alabama news organization, said in the aftermath that emergency services brought a person out on a stretcher, although it was not clear if the individual was injured or dead.
The AP reported that the tornado was part of the same cell that authorities had warned about earlier in the day in Tuscaloosa County, southwest of Jefferson. A separate tweet from a local Birmingham reporter added that additional firemen had arrived at the scene to look search the wreckage.
More fire and rescue personnel arrive on scene with axes in hand to dig through wreckage and search for victims. pic.twitter.com/7ekx2s7cUt
— Stephon Dingle WIAT (@Stephon_Dingle) December 26, 2015
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said at the scene that "the most important thing is that we've gotten to all potential victims and make sure they're taken care of."
The National Weather Service also issued a flash flood warning across the Oneonta region of southern Blount County in central Alabama and for Jefferson and Shelby counties.
Trying to figure out what this was. Birmingham mayor, fire chief told me at scene that there were no fatalities. https://t.co/20SHvxPvoU
— Adam Ganucheau (@GanucheauAdam) December 26, 2015
The new tornado Friday follows unusually warm weather that spawned tornadoes from Arkansas to Michigan, CBS News reported, and states of emergency were declared in Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee as the damage continued through to the weekend. At least 15 people were confirmed dead in the South as of late Christmas Day, NBC reported.