Tornado damages Montevallo homes

A small tornado damaged several homes outside Montevallo Thursday afternoon, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist John Sirmon.

An EF1 twister touched down just east of Shelby County 17 and moved northeast for three-quarters of a mile. The tornado spanned 100 yards at it widest, and winds reached about 105 miles per hour.

The weather service&8217;s official report said the twister caused major damage to the roofs of a home and barn shortly before 6 p.m. Surveyors also found 15 large pine trees that were snapped in half.

But residents say many more homes and buildings were damaged in the storm.

&8220;Several people&8217;s homes were slightly damaged,&8221; said Kim Ackles, a local resident. &8220;It was mostly roofs and down trees.&8221;

Ackles&8217; roof was damaged when her daughter&8217;s trampoline was picked up by the storm and slammed into her back porch.

&8220;We had actually gone out on the porch and saw the tornado still up in the air,&8221; said Ackles. &8220;They are not kidding when they say it sounds like a train because it really does.&8221;

Despite the cleanup, she said she&8217;s thankful the storm was wasn&8217;t worse.

&8220;Fortunately, this was a small amount of damage. It&8217;s nothing compared to what the people in Enterprise have gone through,&8221; she said.

On Feb. 1, the weather service started using the Enhanced Fujita Scale to rate tornado intensity. The new scale aligns wind speeds more closely with associated storm damage than the now obsolete Fujita scale.

Both scales rate tornadoes from 0 to 5, with 0 representing the lowest intensity tornado.

An EFI tornado has winds of 86 to 110 miles per hour and can cause moderate damage &8212; severely stripped roofs, overturned or badly damaged homes, loss of exterior doors and broken windows.

Shelby County was under a tornado warning from 5:38 until 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Sirmon credits the 18 minutes of advanced notice help prevent any injuries