Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Crittenden and Piner, KY Tornado of 3-2-12...

A violent tornado took place near Crittendon and Piner, KY during the late afternoon hours of Friday, March 2, 2012.

The National Weather Service (NWS) survey has rated this tornado EF-4 intensity near Piner, with maximum winds estimated at 175 mph.  The survey team estimates that the tornado initially touched down at approximately 4:30 pm EST about 1.5 miles Northwest of Crittendon, KY.  The tornado then continued on a path toward the East/Northeast for approximately 10 miles before lifting on the West side of the community of Morning View, KY.

Four people were killed and eight people were injured as a direct result of this tornado.  The numbered camera symbols along the path of the tornado (above image) correspond to damage photos taken by the NWS survey team as shown below:

Location #1:

Location #2:

Location #3:

Location #4:

Location #5:

According to the NWS survey, the EF-4 damage took place from the East side of Interstate 75 to the North end of Old Lexington Pike.  Two homes and multiple outbuildings were completely destroyed in this area.  The homes were  reduced down to their foundations.  This is also approximately the area in which all 4 of the fatalities took place in association with this tornado.

The following YouTube video was taken by Matthew Pickett and shows the large, wedge tornado as it crossed Interstate 75.  Note how cars continue to drive right toward the tornado.  It is somewhat difficult to see at first as it is surrounded by curtains of rain (and it is so large it nearly blends right in):

You may have also noticed that the beginning frame in the above video refers to the tornado as EF-3 intensity.  That slide was apparently inserted before the NWS upgraded the intensity to EF-4 a few days later.

Below is a still photo of the tornado, reportedly near Crittenden, photographer unknown:

The following video shows the damage to The Harvester's subdivision in Crittenden:

This tornado was just one of many associated with the outbreak that took place across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valley region on Friday, March 2, 2012.  Please see this post for a "Table of Contents" index listing of the other Tornado Chronicles posts associated with the outbreak. 

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