Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More on Franklin County, TN Tornado of February 28, 2011

The above image (click to enlarge) shows tornado reports received by the NWS in Huntsville, AL yesterday.  (The Huntsville office is responsible for issuing warnings for Franklin and surrounding counties in Tennessee as well).  As many of you have probably heard by now a fatality and several injuries were reported in Franklin and surrounding counties by one or more tornadoes yesterday afternoon.  This post will focus solely on the tornado responsible for this tragic loss of life.

Storm surveys were conducted today, and here is what was determined:

Franklin and Moore Counties:
Tornado Track Length:  11 miles
Maximum Path Width:  600 yards
Maximum Winds:  125 mph
Fatalities:  1
Serious Injuries:  4

The tornado first touched down around 12:18 PM CST on Tanyard Hill Rd, Southeast of downtown Lynchburg.  A few trees were downed in this area.

The tornado then strengthened as it entered Eastern portions of Moore county, with numerous homes sustaining more extensive damage along Ridgeville Road.  The tornado reached maximum intensity as it moved into Franklin County, with at least moderate damage to over 20% of the homes in this area.  Damage was consistent with 125 mph winds in this area, and the path width reached it's maximum of 600 yards.  Several mobile homes were completely destroyed.

As the tornado neared UT Farm Road, additional mobile homes were destroyed, and this is where the 1 fatality of the day took place when a 79 year old man was killed as his trailer was flipped over and rolled.

The tornado then narrowed in width and decreased in intensity before dissipating near Elk River Dam Road on the West side of Woods Reservoir.

More photos and radar imagery will follow...but below are some images gathered from local media thus far.  None really show the true extent of structural damage (except for the roof damage at the volunteer fire department):

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