On Monday at around 6:20 a.m., a severe storm formed a tornado that caused downed power lines and trees, as well as, major damage to homes, outbuildings and businesses.
Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Anita McBurnett said the most damage was to the area south of Section Line Road, where the tornado touched down. She said there was major damage to mobile homes, barns and other outbuildings and roofs that were missing.
McBurnett reported three injuries, two of which were transported to the hospital. She said no deaths had been reported as of Monday afternoon.
According to McBurnett, the tornado dissipated in Guntersville, close to Walmart and Cracker Barrel. She said all of the traffic lights on the portion of U.S. Highway 431 in front of those businesses are out. Even though the power poles are broken and leaning dangerously over the roadway, traffic is still passing through the area, she said.
The City of Guntersville issued the following statement on its Facebook page:
“Due to damage in the Walmart/Cracker Barrel/Lowe’s area, power is out from the Marshall Technical School to the City Limit line including the traffic signals. Traffic signals will not be manned due to limited personnel. Please reduce speed and treat the signals as a four-way stop. Most businesses in this area are closed. There is no estimate at this time of when power will be restored.”
There are several volunteer agencies and the power companies working to assist the community and get the power back on, McBurnett said. She said most of the roads are now back open, but people in the area need to be patient while the crews are working to make repairs on the power lines.
She said there was another severe weather system that would come through Marshall County Monday evening between 1 and 8 p.m. The storm would be similar to the severe weather that morning, and would have 60-mile per hour winds, hail that could be up to golf ball size and possible tornadoes, she said.
“We’re in a scramble to get everything repaired as much as we can until the next weather system comes through,” McBurnett said. “You saw what the storm did this morning, so everyone needs to remain on alert. It’s April in Marshall County, so you can’t let your guard down.”
McBurnett said it is imperative to be weather aware, stay out of areas with major damage if possible and to be prepared for the severe weather this afternoon and evening.
She said the Marshall County EMA would be posting updates on its Facebook page, and the National Weather Service in Huntsville would also be issuing updates.
A list of the area's storm shelters can be found at marshallcoema.org.