Wilcox County Tornado Upgraded To EF4

| March 19, 2007 @ 5:37 pm | 1 Reply

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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James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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