Thousands of pounds worth of damage have been caused after the twister tore through Catherine Street at about 3.30pm today – ripping the roofs off several homes, damaging cars and uprooting trees.
Tonight, a number of residents will have to sleep in temporary accommodation as their homes are structurally unsound.
Derbyshire County Council has opened Flowery Leys Lane School for those affected.
Volunteers with the British Red Cross have been giving emotional and practical support to traumatised residents.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army has been providing food for firefighters who are still at the scene.
A spokesman for Derbyshire fire service hailed the “unsung heroes” and thanked them “a million times over”.
The spokesman added: “Our crews are currently working alongside building experts to assess the damage to properties.”
Mansfield Road in Alfreton will remain closed for some time with no access to Catherine Street.
There are no reports of any injuries following the incident – described by eyewitnesses as “terrifying”.