The National Weather Service and DeKalb County emergency management officials confirm an EF-1 tornado touched down Friday night near Ider, Ala., damaging a handful of homes while leaving residents unharmed.
"We got a little bit of damage, but it was major to the individuals that were affected," DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency deputy director Michael Posey said early Monday. "We had five homes that were impacted in some form; two of those sustained major damage. There were no injuries."
The small storm hit the Sand Mountain community of Cartersville, just north of the town of Ider, a little before 10:30 p.m. CDT Friday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Saari said the tornado had estimated winds of 105 mph and cut a path about 75 yards wide for a little more than two miles.
According to weather data, the tornado first touched down along County Road 783, damaged some hardwood trees, then hit a small outbuilding near the intersection of County Road 776. The storm kept tracking north near County Road 788, damaging more trees until it reached its maximum strength just west of Alabama Highway 75, where one home's roof was torn away and an outbuilding destroyed.
Weather service officials reported the homeowners were able to take refuge in a shared storm shelter before the tornado struck.
Saari said very high winds from a thunderstorm that hit near Harvest Road and Alabama Highway 53 Friday night also did heavy damage to trees, a mobile home, a barbershop and a billboard.
Posey said the Friday storms got DeKalb County off to another year with at least one tornado.
DeKalb has been hit by at least one twister for the past four out of five years, last year getting ripped by seven individual funnel clouds in an outbreak on April 28, he said.
Posey counted Friday's light storm damage lucky for residents other than the two who had severe roof damage.
"Other than that, we had some infrastructure damage with the power lines tangled in some of the trees," he said. A few roads in the Ider area had to be cleared.
"By midday Saturday every one seemed to be in recovery," Posey said.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfree press.com or twitter.com/Ben Benton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.