EF-2 tornado hits Wetumpka, severe damage reported, Alabama

wetumpka-tornado-damage-january-2019

An EF-2 tornado touched down in Wetumpka, Elmore County, AL around 21:44 UTC (15:44 CST) on January 19, 2019. This is about 20 km (12 miles) N of Montgomery.

The tornado had a maximum width of 640 m (700 yards), 29 km (18.2 miles) long track and maximum winds estimated at 217 km/h (135 mph).

It destroyed portions of Wetumpka (population 8 148), including historic churches, homes and businesses. Downtown Wetumpka was hit particularly hard.

One injury was reported by 16:44 CST and 25 damaged or destroyed homes.

Wetumpka Police Station is heavily damaged as well as First Presbyterian and First Baptist churches. Luckily, both churches were empty at the time.

Image credit: NWS Birmingham

Image credit: NWS Birmingham

Image credit: NWS Birmingham

Image credit: NWS Birmingham

"Elmore County EMA and first responders are currently assisting the City of Wetumpka in their efforts.  Citizens are urged to stay clear of downtown Wetumpka and areas affected along the track of the storm.  Unnecessary travel is hindering emergency personnel from clearing roadways of downed power lines, trees, and debris," county officials said.

"A curfew in downtown Wetumpka has been established for 6:00 pm tonight.  Only emergency personnel will be permitted in the area to assist residents."

The curfew will be in effect until 06:00 CST, January 21.

Additional damage was reported in Dallas, Autauga, Coosa and other locations in Elmore County.

Featured image credit: NWS Birmingham

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