The National Weather Service of Huntsville confirmed Sunday that an EF-2 tornado touched down in parts of Marshall County including Brindlee Mountain on Saturday.

The tornado with 120 mph winds hit the Union Grove Community, significantly damaging Brindlee Mountain Schools. 

The Marshall County Schools Board of Education held a special-called meeting Monday after The Reporter’s press deadline to declare the situation an emergency and request assistance from the State. Superintendent Cindy Wigley called the result of the storm a “devastating loss” but was thankful students and school staffs were not present.

“While the Jan. 11, 2020, EF-2 tornado has left our Union Grove Community and the Marshall County School System with a devastating loss of Brindlee Mountain Primary School, we are so thankful and blessed that our children and staff were not at school during this tragic event,” Wigley said in a statement after Saturday’s storm.

“School officials are working diligently to make adjustments in all three schools within the Brindlee Mountain School District in order to provide the safest possible space and accommodations for students and staff of Brindlee Mountain Primary,” she continued. “Efforts are being made to relocate Brindlee Mountain Primary to the middle school building of Brindlee Mountain High School, and therefore, will be contained in a separate building.

“In order to allow time for this transition and adjustments of traffic patterns, school for all three Brindlee Mountain schools, (Primary, Elementary, and High Schools), will be CLOSED this week, Jan. 13-17, 2020. Extra-curricular activities will continue as scheduled. All teachers and staff should report as directed by local school administration. All other Marshall County Schools will be in session and follow their regular schedule.

“The Marshall County Board of Education will have a special called meeting tomorrow, in order to declare an emergency and request financial assistance from the State of Alabama.

“We certainly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers, and the support of Representative Wes Kitchens, Senator Clay Scofield, Sheriff Phil Sims and his staff, local churches, and the area Volunteer Fire Departments for their amazing efforts. We also are so appreciative of our North Alabama school systems for offering their assistance.

“The Union Grove community is a strong and supportive community and will work along side us as we get through this hardship together. Again, thank you for your support.”

More information regarding the special-called meeting can be found online at sandmountainreporter.com and in Thursday’s edition of The Reporter.

While no other tornadoes were confirmed, parts of Albertville also saw significant damage, including The Potter’s House Church. Parts of the roof were damaged, which led to major leaks within the church.

Minor damages at the construction site of Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater was also reported.

Marshall-DeKalb Electric Cooperative reported that at the peak of the storm, it had 1,300 members without electricity. The Electric Board of Guntersville also reported several outages, including a “significant” outage that affected the 46 KV transmission lines, which led to many residents to be without electricity for a minimum of three hours.

As of Monday, no major injuries or fatalities due to the storm have been reported on Sand Mountain.

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