Monday, March 17, 2008

March 15, 2008 Tornado Outbreak

There were two tornadoes officially confirmed by the National Weather Service in Alabama on Saturday March 15, 2008; one in Blount County and one in Cherokee County.

The NWS in Birmingham rated the Blount County Tornado an EF2. According to the NWS, it touched down 5 miles southeast of Oneonta at 9:50 a.m. near Highland Lake and traveled northeastward, paralleling County Road 12 until it lifted near US 231 after being on the ground for six miles. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at about 9:20 and a tornado warning was issued at 9:46 by the NWS Birmingham. The tornado was 675 yards wide at it's widest point. Dozens of chicken houses were damaged or destroyed. At least 25 homes received major damage. A few mobile homes were damaged and one was destroyed. At least six cows were killed by flying debris. A few feed silos were damaged and one was rolled one half mile by the tornado.

Photos of Blount County damage

Blount County radar shots between 9:21 and 9:58:

Blount County tornado coverage by Jason Simpson

The Cherokee County tornado was also rated an EF2 by the NWS Birmingham. This tornado touched down 4 miles north of Piedmont just before 11 a.m. A tornado warning was issued at 10:31 for Cherokee County. It was on the ground for 3 miles and was only 50 yards wide at it's widest point. Three homes were damaged by the tornado. This tornado passed within 1/2 mile of the terrible 1994 tornado that struck the Goshen United Methodist Church during Palm Sunday services.

Cherokee County damage photos.

Here is a photo of the Cherokee County tornado posted by James Spann at This photo was taken by Shea Rowland near Spring Garden, Alabama.

Cherokee County tornado coverage by ABC 33/40 Meteorologist Jason Simpson

As the storm passed over St. Clair County this video was taken.

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