11 tornadoes confirmed across the Tennessee Valley

Storm damage in Ardmore (Source: WAFF)
Storm damage in Ardmore (Source: WAFF)
Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 1:13 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2018 at 5:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - After surveying the damage the National Weather Service in Huntsville has confirmed that there were 11 tornadoes from Monday's storms. Of the 11, two were rated as EF2 tornadoes and five were rated as EF1 tornadoes.

Cedar Creek Lake in Franklin county – EF1

The tornado touched down at 5:10 P.M. and was on the ground for six minutes, lifting at 5:16 P.M.

Peak Wind: 100 mph
Path Length: 1.21 miles
Path Width: 100 yards

The first area of damage from the tornado was in the Belgreen community where there were snapped cedar trees. A mobile home was hit and sideswiped, with damage to the roof and siding. A barn was also destroyed. As the tornado moved over Cedar Creek Lake it destroyed a boat slip and uprooted more trees. There was also damage to several homes. The tornado lifted in a heavily forested area along the far eastern edge of Cedar Creek Lake.

Russellville, AL in eastern Franklin county – EF1

The tornado was on the ground for nine minutes, touching down at 5:21 P.M. and lifting at 5:30 P.M.

Peak Wind: 90 mph
Path Length: 2.05 miles
Path Width: 200 yards

This tornado was part of the same storm that brought the first tornado to Cedar Creek Lake. The tornado first touched down in the Reedtown section of Russellville. Minor roof and siding damage were found on some homes as well as a chimney being knocked off another house.

The worst damage was found as the tornado intensified and crossed Highway 43 on the south side of Russellville. The tornado caused damage to the Waffle House as well as the Alabama Central Credit Union.

There was also damage to an apartment complex and a small barn which was destroyed. The tornado lifted near Sloss Lake Park.

Ardmore, AL in northern Limestone County – EF2

This tornado was on the ground the longest and was the strongest out of all the tornadoes. It was on the ground for 38 minutes touching down at 6:08 P.M. and lifting at 6:46 P.M.

Peak Wind: 125 mph
Path Length: 23.54 miles
Path Width: 350 yards

The tornado first touched down just to the east of the Lauderdale/Limestone county line near Lester, AL and the intersection of Union Hill road and Shelton road. This created some uprooted and snapped trees. Hundreds of trees were snapped or uprooted to the north of Elkmont. This area was where the tornado was at its maximum width of 350 yards.

From there the storm rolled east towards Ardmore. It crossed I-65 near the Alabama Welcome Center.

This is where the tornado started to gain some strength. The NWS also mentions that I was a multiple vortex tornado "There is evidence (both from radar and ground surveys) to suggest that the tornado had multiple vortices between Oak Grove Road and Valley Drive, as there are two distinct damage paths in this area. Again, much of the damage was to trees and roofs of single-family and manufactured homes, as well as small sheds and barns."

As the tornado moved east towards Ardmore it caused its greatest damage. I was able to survey damage along Old Grove road there were several trailers and homes that had parts of their roof blow off. A few sheds were destroyed and there was a lot of tree damage. We have drone footage from the area as well.

Here are some photos of the damage along Old Grove road.

The most severe damage was along HWY-251 and Gatlin rd. There was a house that had its roof torn off and there was structural damage to a garage as well.

From there the tornado began to weaken and wrap up. There were more areas of tree damage near Mitchell Loop, Old Schoolhouse road, and HWY-53. This is around the area where it lifted.

Hazel Green, AL in northern Madison County – EF1

The tornado touched down at 6:59 P.M. and lifted at 7:04 PM staying on the ground for roughly five minutes.

Peak Wind: 105 mph
Path Length: 3.77 miles
Path Width: 50 yards

The tornado touched down northwest of town near Delynn Drive and Bobo Section road tearing down trees, some of which fell onto homes.

The most significant damage reported from the storm was along the HWY-231 north of Hazel Green. This ripped apart parts of a building supply yard structure. The tin roof and siding was torn off parts of the building and thrown east into a neighboring field. Chief Meteorologist Brad Travis and I were able to survey some of this damage.

Falkville, AL in southern Morgan County – EF1

The tornado touched down southwest of Hartselle at 6:29 P.M. and was on the ground for 19 minutes finally lifting at 6:48 P.M. southeast of Falkville.

Peak Wind: 100 mph
Path Length: 10.34 miles
Path Width: 550 yards

This tornado was part of the same supercell that spawned the tornadoes near Cedar Creek Lake and Russellville. More widespread tree damage was found with this twister. The NWS reports "The only structural damage to note was a couple small farm structures and sheds that were heavily damaged or destroyed adjacent to Evergreen Rd", which sounds like it was near Old Highway 31 and Falkville High School.

Horton, AL in southern Marshall County – EF2

The tornado touched down at 7:26 P.M. and was on the ground for 15 minutes, lifting at 7:41 P.M.

Peak Wind: 112 mph
Path Length: 3.76 miles
Path Width: 690 yard (around a third of a mile wide)

The beginning of the damage was noted just west of Old Oneota Rd and Dixie Dale Rd with snapped and uprooted trees. Barn damage, chicken houses, and structure damage were all found. The NWS estimates that the tornado lifted just east of Whitesville Road before Walnut Street.

Colbert County – EF0

A weak tornado touched down in the southwest area around Coon Dog Cemetery.

Lawrence County – EF0 and EF1

EF0 determined around Mount Hope. The exact area fo the EF1 is still being determinedbut it's believed to be in southeast Lawrence County.

Jackson County

Small, weak tornado confirmed along Highway 65 in the Francisco community in northwest Jackson County.

Franklin County, TN – EF0

EF0 touched down around Dechard.

Copyright 2018 WAFF. All rights reserved.