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Central Alabama 7 Day Forecast

Wilcox County Tornado Upgraded To EF4

| 5:37 pm March 19, 2007 | Comments (1)

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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  1. Matt Graves says:

    That’s sad about the guy dying in his trailer. I grew up in one, but I hate those things for so many reasons – certainly not a good place to be in stormy weather!

    A bunch of people huddling in the storm cellar . .. reminds me of the good ole days going to Granny’s storm cellar. We never ha dan actual tornado come over though . .bet that was scary. Debris htting the door and all . . .yikes! Bet they were glad they got out of the house! Whew . . .

    Luckily the tornado season is relatively quiet so far thoug . . .best I remember all that happenedt he 1st of March and none since then. Just think how many people may have been saved by the good warning systems we have now. Need more public awareness though . . .

    I think the warnings are very good . .. but a lot of people still don’t take it very seriously or else dont’ hear the warning. Taht guy who came home to eat lunch . .. obviously he must not have had a clue! And I remember one grocery store I worked at in Jasper . . . (Son’s), one time we were under a tornado warning andt hey just didn’t care! Kept right on working . . . Places that have been hit recently . . .they learn to take it more seriously. What was really sad to me was that school in Enterprise where some students were killed. Some were in the gymnasium?!?! What was up with THAT? I don’t think the warnings are the problem . . . more like lack of communication, the technology is outstanding nowadays. . .

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