There were reports of “significant damage” after a tornado touched down north of Birmingham late Monday, officials said.
There have been no reports from officials or agencies of injuries, but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
The tornado impacted the area of Fultondale, a city of around 9,000 that is a northern suburb of Birmingham, the National Weather Service said.
“Significant damage has been reported,” according to the weather service’s Birmingham office. A damage assessment would be done to determine the strength of the tornado, it said. The weather service tweeted at around 10:45 p.m. local time that there was a confirmed tornado near Fultondale in Jefferson County.
Video from NBC affiliate WVTM showed what appeared to be extensive damage to a hotel, with pieces of the roof and the side of the building torn off.
A woman at the hotel who was asleep at the time told the station that the wind sounded “like a train.” Debris from the building covered parked cars outside.
Jefferson County emergency management officials urged people to take shelter as the storm was ongoing and asked people to submit damage reports. Officials asked the public to stay away from Fultondale and Center Point.
The emergency management department was unable to immediately comment on the scope of the damage.
“We are still very much in the response mode,” Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Corker said in an email early Tuesday.
An official at the fire department in Tarrant, which is east of Fultondale, told NBC News that there were many trees and power lines down.
Tornado watches remained for a swath of Central Alabama until 6 a.m. Tuesday local time, including Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, according to the weather service.
Kimberly Flores Gaynor and Kurt Chirbas contributed.