A mangled tree is seen in front of a damaged home on County Road 617 in White City on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)
CULLMAN, Ala. – The National Weather Service (NWS) on Friday determined that it was an EF1 tornado with peak winds of 105 mph that touched down in Cullman County between White City and Holly Pond Thursday evening.
The NWS released the results of its storm survey on Friday. It said the tornado’s path was 11.01 miles long and 112 yards wide.
— NWS Huntsville (@NWSHuntsville) March 15, 2019
The roof was torn off the White City Community Center and a home next door suffered substantial damage. Multiple trees were downed. The Cullman County Sheriff's Office also reported downed power lines. Cullman Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little reported a mobile home on County Road 609 severely damaged by a tree and downed trees on County Road 766 near Welti. The Jet-Pep home office in Holly Pond also suffered severe damage. No injuries were reported.
The Cullman County Commission jumped quickly into action Friday, holding two emergency sessions.
The first was to move White City's voting precinct to the Johnson's Crossing Volunteer Fire Department. The damaged White City Community Center had served as the area’s voting precinct. The change comes just days ahead of the March 19 school tax referendum.
The Johnson's Crossing Volunteer Fire Department is located at 1544 County Road 617, Hanceville, Alabama 65077.
The second was to declare a state of emergency due to damages to property from severe storms, a tornado, flooding and other causes. The emergency declaration allows the County to seek aid from state and federal agencies. It also gives local agencies broader scope in assisting with clean up. For example, the emergency declaration allows the County to remove debris from rights-of-way.
Commissioner Garry Marchman explained, “Most of the storm damage was in the White City and Holly Pond areas, but the emergency is for storm damages countywide.”
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