Reported tornado strikes Birmingham, Alabama; Governor declares state of emergency for flooding

Violent weather continued across the southern United States on Christmas Day with a reported tornado striking Birmingham, Alabama.

Only one injury was reported, Birmingham city officials told Three structures were destroyed and a fourth one was damaged as a result of the storm that hit the southwestern part of the city around 5:00 p.m. CST Friday over about a 1 square-mile radius.

The National Weather Service at Birmingham issued a tornado warning for the storm. It said a damage survey assessment will be conducted on Saturday to determine whether a tornado did touch down but it does appear that "a significant tornado" did hit the area.

Other storms in Alabama since Thursday have produced flooding downpours, leading Gov. Robert Bentley to declare a state of emergency.

"Between 3 and 4 inches of rain fell in the Birmingham area in about 3 hours Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said. "The extreme rainfall rates overwhelmed storm drains and quickly filled creeks and streams."

"Many parts of Alabama have experienced excessive rainfall and flooding is a major concern," Bentley said in a news release Friday afternoon. "By issuing a State of Emergency, I have directed all state agencies to take necessary actions to be prepared to respond to the anticipated flooding across Alabama. We will actively monitor the flooding, and are prepared to respond to any requests for assistance."