The storm blew a barn and a silo across U.S. 43 a few miles outside of Grove Hill and flipped a vacant mobile home, said Clarke County emergency management director Roy Waite. Trees and power lines were down and workers were trying to fix a natural gas leak at a small manufacturing plant.
Mary Cartright said she was working at the Fast Track convenience store in the town on Christmas evening when the wind started howling and the lights flickered, knocking out the store's computerized cash registers.
"We've had some pretty heavy weather," said Cartright in a phone interview. "Our cash registers are down so our doors are closed."
The storm is part of a severe weather system that has already damaged parts of Louisiana and Mississippi and is moving east.
Brian Daly, a Mobile-based National Weather Service meteorologist, said forecasters were anticipating EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes. On Dec. 20, an EF-1 tornado that hit Alabama and left 54,700 people without power.
A National Weather Service meteorologist based in Birmingham says a tornado watch is not in effect for the Birmingham area, although forecasters there are also expecting damaging winds and hail in central Alabama.