Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Update on 3/1/07 Tornadoes to EF4 Status!

Refer to Alabamawx.com

Enterprise Tornado Now Rated EF4

Here is an exerpt from this post and a summary from the NWS Talahassee.

I figured this would happen at some point… both Brian Peters and I believed the Enterprise tornado to be an EF4, and now the NWS is on the bandwagon… this is the updated statement from NWS Tallahassee:

…TORNADO NUMBER 1…COFFEE COUNTY ALABAMA…ENTERPRISE…THIS TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AT 108 PM CST JUST SOUTHWEST OF ENTERPRISE. THE TORNADO TRACKED THROUGH ENTERPRISE HITTING THE HIGH SCHOOL AROUND 112 PM CST. THE TORNADO MOVED OUT OF THE TOWN OF ENTERPRISE AND LIFTED BEFORE REACHING DALE COUNTY AT 118 PM CST. THE APPROXIMATE PATH LENGTH OF THIS TORNADO WAS 7 MILES WITH A MAXIMUM DAMAGE WIDTH OF 300 YARDS. THE FINAL RATING ASSIGNED TO THIS TORNADO IS AN EF-4 WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OF 170 MPH. THE EF-4 DAMAGED AREAS ARE RIGHT AROUND THE HIGH SCHOOL AND SEVERAL HOMES ON DIXIE ROAD TO THE NORTHEAST OF BOLL WEEVIL CIRCLE. AN EF-4 TORNADO HAS WINDS OF 166 TO 200 MPH. 9 FATALITIES WERE REPORTED IN ENTERPRISE WITH 8 OF THESE OCCURRING AT THE HIGH SCHOOL.

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT…UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL 1250 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2007

UPDATED INTENSITY OF MILLERS FERRY TORNADO…

THE TORNADO THAT STRUCK MILLERS FERRY IN WILCOX COUNTY ALABAMA ON MARCH 1 2007 HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO AN EF-4. THE WIND SPEED ESTIMATES HAVE BEEN UPDATED TO 185 MPH BASED ON THE DESTRUCTION OF AT LEAST TWO WOOD FRAME HOMES.

THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN AROUND 1227 PM CST (MARCH 1ST) AT STATE HIGHWAY 28 NEAR MILLERS FERRY DAM. THE TORNADO THEN TRACKED NORTHEAST ACROSS WILLIAM “BILL” DANNELLY RESERVOIR…MOVING ASHORE ON SAND ISLAND AT SAND ISLAND DRIVE. THIS IS WHERE MOST OF SEVERE DAMAGE OCCURRED…WITH NUMEROUS HOMES DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

ONE RESIDENT HAD ARRIVED AT HIS HOME TO EAT LUNCH WHEN THE TORNADO HIT AND WAS KILLED WHEN HIS MANUFACTURED HOME WAS DESTROYED. NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR HAD SOUGHT REFUGE IN AN UNDERGROUND STORM SHELTER OUTSIDE THE HOUSE SECONDS BEFORE THE TORNADO HIT. ALL THEY HEARD WAS DEBRIS HITTING THE DOOR OF THE SHELTER. WHEN THEY EMERGED THEY SAW THAT THEIR HOME WAS DESTROYED. THERE WERE ALSO TWO REPORTED INJURIES. MOST OF THE HOMES ARE VACATION HOMES WITH PART-TIME RESIDENTS. IF THE TORNADO HAD STRUCK ON THE WEEKEND WHEN MORE PEOPLE WERE PRESENT…THE LOSS OF LIFE WOULD LIKELY HAD BEEN GREATER.

IN ALL AROUND 40 HOMES WERE DESTROYED OR DAMAGED ON SAND ISLAND DRIVE…WITH SOME OF THE DEBRIS SCATTERED UP TO TWO MILES DOWNSTREAM. THE TORNADO THEN CONTINUED MOVING QUICKLY TO THE NORTHEAST THROUGH SPARSELY POPULATED TERRITORIES.

THE HIGHEST WIND SPEED OF THE TORNADO WAS ESTIMATED AT 185 MPH… WHICH RATES IT AS AN EF-4 ON THE NEW ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. THE LENGTH OF THE TRACK WAS 15.6 MILES LONG…WITH THE WIDEST WIDTH OF ABOUT 500 YARDS.

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