ST. CLAIR COUNTY -- Severe weather pounded the state Thursday, including portions of St. Clair County.
St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Director Patrice Kurzejeski said her agency assessed the damage from the tornado warning issued at 5:56 p.m. Nineteen homes sustained minor damage, and two homes suffered major damage.
Kurzejeski said the damage was in the Friendship community on U.S. 411, Trapper’s Way, St. Clair 22, Friendship Road and St. Clair Road (prison road).
“There were a lot of trees uprooted,” she said, “many that blocked highways. The National Weather Service in Birmingham will conduct their assessment within a couple of days to determine the type and strength of the storm.”
Hoyt Jackson lives in the Friendship community of Shoal Creek Valley (St. Clair 22). He is 71 and has lived in that area off and on all his life.
Jackson said he knows the storm was just not straight line winds because trees fell in two different directions.
“No doubt, it was a tornado,” Jackson said. “I have several trees down, one some landed on my pontoon boat and my bass boat. The tornado also picked up my RV and shifted it about 6 to 8 inches.”
Jackson said as for house damage, all he has seen so far is some underpinning that was ripped off.
“I haven’t been up on the roof yet, so I don’t know what’s up there,” he said. “The biggest damage is downed trees.”
Jackson said the tornado hit in the afternoon. Before he assessed the damage at his own place, he gathered his chainsaws and his tractor to go help neighbors cut up and remove trees that were blocking the highway.
“The greatest thing about this is no one was hurt, and there was no loss of life,” Jackson said.
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.