April 2009 tornado outbreak
Damage from the EF4 Murfreesboro tornado
|Date(s)||April 9–11, 2009|
|Duration||31 hours, 37 minutes|
|Confirmed tornadoes||85 confirmed|
|Maximum rated tornado||EF4 (Enhanced Fujita Scale)|
|Casualties||5 + 4 non-tornadic|
The April 2009 tornado outbreak was a tornado outbreak that affected large portions of the Southern United States on April 9–11 2009. At least 5 people were killed by tornadoes including three in Mena, Arkansas and two in Murfreesboro, Tennessee just south of Nashville. A total of 85 tornadoes were confirmed over the two days. Three people were killed in Texas due to wildfires caused by strong winds stemming from the same storm system.
A storm system over the southern Great Plains region resulted in severe weather development during the late afternoon and evening along a dry line that stretched from southern Kansas across northeastern Oklahoma into southwestern Missouri and northwest Arkansas. As a result, a moderate risk of severe weather was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for eastern Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri and western Arkansas. The system approached as the atmosphere destabilized as a result of daytime heating. Thunderstorms began developmenting along a dry line in Oklahoma between 2 and 3 pm CDT (1900 and 2000 UTC). More thunderstorms started forming as they approached into western Arkansas, and encountered a strong wind field around the incoming system. Winds began turning with height, which caused some thunderstorms to rotate and spawn tornadoes. Beginning at 6:20 CDT (2320 UTC), several tornadoes were produced in eastern sections of Oklahoma and Texas. The severe weather then moved into Arkansas, where a tornado killed three people in Mena. The thunderstorms that affected Texas then went into Louisiana, creating numerous tornadoes in the state, one of which tracked through downtown Shreveport.
On April 10 (Good Friday), the storm system moved east into the Tennessee Valley and eventually into the Carolinas during the night. Ahead of the storm, warm and moist air quickly moved northeast into Alabama, Georgia, eastern sections of Tennessee and parts of the Carolinas. A separate band of strong jet stream winds went east across Mississippi and Alabama. The strengthening winds and increased moisture helped create conditions favorable for the development of supercells that could produce strong tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center issued a moderate risk of severe weather for sections of the Tennessee Valley, Gulf Coast states and into the southern Appalachians region. As the system moved across the lower Ohio Valley area around the noon hour, a line of thunderstorms started to produce tornadoes in parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. One of the tornadoes that struck Tennessee early that afternoon killed two people in Murfreesboro. Portions of the moderate risk area in northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee were upgraded to a high risk at 1:44 pm CDT (1844 UTC).
The thunderstorms moved southeast across much of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama later that afternoon and into the evening. They produced tornadoes in northeastern sections of Alabama, damaging homes in Langston and Powell. Further south, tornadoes damaged areas in central Alabama, one of which tracked through three counties and into the Montgomery Metropolitan Area. One area of thunderstorms that evening produced a long-tracked tornado that moved from Grovetown, Georgia, through Augusta and ended in Ellenton, South Carolina. The tornado moved across Augusta but missed the Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters Tournament was taking place during the weekend. The storm system reached the Atlantic Coast during the early morning hours of April 11, producing one tornado in North Carolina.
April 9 event
|List of reported tornadoes - Thursday, April 9, 2009|
|EF0||E of Vinita||Craig||2303||2.4 miles (3.9 km)||Roofs were torn off several homes and a barn. Damage to two power poles.|
|EF0||SE of Wilburton||Latimer||2318||4.3 miles (6.9 km)||Several houses and a gas compressor station were damaged.|
|EF1||ENE of Nashoba||Pushmataha||2342||7.7 miles (12.4 km)||Many trees were damaged, including snapped trunks.|
|EF1||N of Wister||Le Flore||2355||7.5 miles (12.1 km)||Several homes were damaged and several barns were destroyed.|
|EF2||E of Big Cedar||Le Flore, Polk (AR)||0026||9.2 miles (14.8 km)||Several mobile homes and a permanent home were heavily damaged or destroyed. Four people were injured, one of whom sustained broken bones.|
|EF3||Eagletown to Dierks, AR||McCurtain, Sevier (AR), Howard (AR), Pike (AR)||0101||29 miles (47 km)||Long-track tornado with significant damage, particularly in De Queen, Arkansas. At least 10 mobile homes were destroyed, with seven people injured in the park. An Army Corps of Engineers office and another reinforced concrete building were also heavily damaged in the Dierks Lake area. Howard and Sevier Counties were later declared a disaster area.|
|EF1||NW of Hughes Springs||Morris, Cass||0052||6 miles (9.7 km)||Damage to trees and power lines along the path.|
|EF2||NW of Linden||Cass||0105||16 miles (26 km)||Many trees were knocked down, crushing houses and vehicles. A two-story house was severely damaged, and a portable building was blown away.|
|EF0||NE of Bivins||Cass||0141||2.4 miles (3.9 km)||Numerous trees were knocked down along its path.|
|EF1||NW of Hallsville||Harrison||0213||3.1 miles (5.0 km)||Several houses damaged by falling trees and windows blown out. A large shed was ripped from its foundation.|
|EF2||Waskom to Bossier City, LA||Harrison, Caddo (LA), Bossier (LA)||0248||38.5 miles (62.0 km)||Continuous long-track tornado with many houses and businesses damaged along its path, some of which were nearly destroyed. Tornado tracked near Cross Lake and eventually into downtown Shreveport (with little damage there) before crossing the Red River into Bossier City. Damage was also reported at Barksdale Air Force Base. Two people were injured and overall damage was about $14 million.|
|EF3||Mena area||Polk||0102||14.5 miles (23.3 km)||3 deaths – See section on this tornado|
|EF2||Center Point area||Howard||0134||2.5 miles (4.0 km)||Rare large anticyclonic tornado severely damaged a house and a barn. One person was injured.|
|EF3||N of Kiblah||Miller||0151||10 miles (16 km)||An outbuilding and a mobile home were destroyed, throwing debris 1/2 mile (800 m) away. Major tree damage along its path.|
|EF1||SE of Newhope||Pike||0153||3 miles (4.8 km)||Many trees were knocked down on private timber company land.|
|EF2||S of Crossett||Ashley||0427||14 miles (23 km)||15 houses, including some mobile homes, were heavily damaged or destroyed and 27 others were damaged to lesser degrees. Many trees were also damaged or knocked over.|
|EF0||Nixa area||Christian||0120||1.6 miles (2.6 km)||Minor damage to more than a dozen homes with additional damage to trees and fences. Several power lines were also downed by the tornado along Route 160.|
|EF0||NNE of Bolinger||Bossier||0302||0.75 miles (1.21 km)||Several trees were snapped in a heavily forested area.|
|EF0||NE of Heflin||Webster||0404||2.25 miles (3.62 km)||Several trees were snapped or uprooted.|
|EF1||NE of Litroe||Union||0421||5 miles (8.0 km)||Tornado damaged trees in the Upper Ouachita Wildlife Refuge.|
|EF1||S of Simsboro||Lincoln||0433||4.4 miles (7.1 km)||Many trees were snapped and a house sustained minor roof damage.|
|EF2||NE of Eros||Jackson, Ouachita||0505||11.7 miles (18.8 km)||Several houses were damaged, one of them heavily with its roof torn off. Many trees were damaged, with some falling onto structures.|
|EF1||Delhi area||Richland, Madison||0627||4.5 miles (7.2 km)||Tornado roughly paralleled Interstate 20 with some trees down and minor damage to a few houses.|
|Sources: SPC Storm Reports for April 9, 2009, NWS Little Rock, NWS Tulsa, NWS Springfield, NWS Jackson, NWS Shreveport, NCDC Storm Data|
April 10 event
|List of reported tornadoes - Friday, April 10, 2009|
|EF0||Martling area||Marshall||1038||1.9 miles (3.1 km)||Early morning weak tornado produced minor roof damage to a few homes, heavily damaged two sheds and peeled the roof off a barn.|
|EF0||SSW of Thach||Limestone||1859||unknown||Brief tornado with up to 20 trees were snapped at mile marker 359 on Interstate 65.|
|EF3||E of Grant||Marshall, Jackson, DeKalb||2002||33 miles (53 km)||Long track tornado with many houses heavily damaged in the area along Lake Guntersville and in subdivisions to the east, with a few destroyed. Many mobile homes and boat houses were also destroyed along its path. Five people were injured.|
|EF1||SW of Roxana||Tallapoosa, Lee||0012||18 miles (29 km)||Numerous barns and outbuildings were heavily damaged. Many trees were also knocked down.|
|EF1||Loachapoka area||Lee||0030||6 miles (9.7 km)||A church sustained moderate roof damage and many outbuildings, a few vehicles and hundreds of trees were damaged.|
|EF1||S of Beauregard||Lee||0051||2.25 miles (3.62 km)||Damage to several structures including a mobile home and roof damage to buildings.|
|EF1||Crawford area||Russell||0104||6 miles (9.7 km)||Damage limited to uprooted trees.|
|EF1||Phenix City||Russell||0119||1 mile (1.6 km)||Tornado touched down at the Phenix City dragstrip. The most severe damage was at a mobile home park, where two people were injured.|
|EF1||Notasulga area||Tallapoosa, Macon, Lee||0126||25.3 miles (40.7 km)||Several houses sustained minor damage and mobile homes sustained significant damage. Thousands of trees were snapped or uprooted.|
|EF1||Montgomery area||Montgomery, Macon, Bullock||0148||26.1 miles (42.0 km)||Tornado tracked across the eastern side of the Montgomery metropolitan area and continued eastward. Dozens of houses were damaged, and at least three barns and numerous outbuildings were destroyed. Thousands of trees were damaged.|
|EF1||Seale area||Russell||0220||0.5 miles (0.80 km)||One mobile home was destroyed injuring its occupant. Several trees were also blown down.|
|EF1||NE of Camden||Benton||1541||4.5 miles (7.2 km)||12 homes and two mobile homes suffered roof damage while several outbuildings were destroyed.|
|EF0||NW of Waverly||Humphreys||1550||1 mile (1.6 km)||Brief tornado touchdown in the Highlands on Kentucky Lake subdivision snapped a few trees.|
|EF1||N of Waverly||Humphreys, Houston||1559||12 miles (19 km)||Five houses were damaged and a mobile home and two barns were destroyed. Extensive tree damage.|
|EF4||Murfreesboro area||Rutherford||1719||23.3 miles (37.5 km)||2 deaths – See article section on this tornado|
|EF1||SSW of Portland||Sumner||1749||0.6 miles (0.97 km)||Tornado touched down near the Johnston Crossroads community. Four houses and a mobile home lost their roofs and trees were damaged.|
|EF0||SE of Rucker||Rutherford||1758||0.2 miles (0.32 km)||A house was damaged from a blown tree along a short path.|
|EF1||Pleasant View||Rutherford||1801||3.7 miles (6.0 km)||Four houses and a barn were damaged and trees were uprooted.|
|EF0||W of Woodbury||Cannon||1819||0.8 miles (1.3 km)||Minimal damage, mostly to trees.|
|EF0||W of Hillsboro||Coffee||1918||unknown||Brief tornado videotaped by a storm chaser along Interstate 24 with no damage.|
|EF1||S of Monterey||Putnam, Cumberland||1922||12 miles (19 km)||Many trees were twisted, snapped or uprooted. Several farm buildings and many fences were also damaged.|
|EF2||S of Dunlap (1st tornado)||Sequatchie||2002||5 miles (8.0 km)||Several houses and a school sustained minor to moderate damage. Severe tree damage with trunks snapped.|
|EF1||S of Dunlap (2nd tornado)||Sequatchie||2005||unknown||Brief tornado damaged a house and several trees.|
|EF1||ENE of Sale Creek||Hamilton||2023||0.5 miles (0.80 km)||One house was damaged and many trees were knocked down.|
|EF0||W of Almo||Calloway||1616||0.25 miles (0.40 km)||Tornado embedded in a microburst. Several houses sustained minor damage and trees damaged.|
|EF1||NE of Eddyville||Lyon||1645||0.33 miles (0.53 km)||A mobile home was overturned by a short-lived tornado, injuring one person. A commercial building was also damaged.|
|EF0||NW of Crofton||Christian||1647||1.5 miles (2.4 km)||Tornado confirmed by emergency management. Minor damage to several buildings on a farm.|
|EF3||Mannington area||Christian, Hopkins||1654||2 miles (3.2 km)||Tornado touched down in the community with 2 houses destroyed according to WEHT-TV. Two people inside a destroyed house were injured - one severely.|
|EF0||W of Eubank||Pulaski||1856||unknown||Brief tornado with debris visible but no damage.|
|EF1||NE of Eubank||Pulaski, Lincoln||1917||6.5 miles (10.5 km)||Several barns, a metal shed and two mobile homes were destroyed. Several other structures including homes were damaged. One conventional home was pushed off 10 feet (3.0 m) from its foundation.|
|EF2||Summerville||Chattooga||2100||0.9 miles (1.4 km)||Over 30 homes and 10 businesses were damaged, with a lumber warehouse and car care center taking the most damage. One mobile home was destroyed.|
|EF1||NE of Jasper||Pickens||2204||3.5 miles (5.6 km)||Damage limited to trees, utility poles and power lines.|
|EF2||NNE of Carnesville||Franklin||2253||4.5 miles (7.2 km)||Several houses and mobile homes were heavily damaged. A chicken house was flattened and others were damaged.|
|EF1||SE of Dunn||Forsyth||2257||0.5 miles (0.80 km)||Brief tornado/waterspout on the shores of Lake Lanier damaged at least 100 trees - some falling on a house - and destroyed at least three boats and two boat docks.|
|EF1||SE of Ochille||Chattahoochee||0146||4 miles (6.4 km)||Several outbuildings and sheds were destroyed. Hundreds of trees were also damaged.|
|EF0||NNE of Boneville||McDuffie||0153||unknown||Brief tornado with trees down, some on vehicles.|
|EF1||NE of Cussetta||Chattahoochee||0200||4 miles (6.4 km)||Minor damage to two homes, one church and several sheds. A metal storage building was destroyed.|
|EF0||NW of Sparta||Hancock||0219||1.5 miles (2.4 km)||Damage to one mobile home.|
|EF0||N of Sparta||Hancock||0223||1.1 miles (1.8 km)||Damage limited to trees.|
|EF3||NE of Sparta||Hancock||0228||6.5 miles (10.5 km)||Two homes and a mobile home were destroyed with damage to two other homes. Numerous trees were flattened. One person was injured and a Shetland pony was killed.|
|EF3||Grovetown to Augusta||Columbia, Richmond||0230||18 miles (29 km)||Large wedge tornado with significant damage along a swath roughly paralleling U.S. Route 278 in the Augusta area, including to many houses, businesses and mobile homes. 12 people were injured at a nursing home which was hit and over 150 had to be evacuated.|
|EF0||SE of Gibson||Glascock||0256||0.6 miles (0.97 km)||A few pine trees were damaged.|
|EF1||NW of Seville||Sumter, Dooly, Wilcox||0300||25 miles (40 km)||Two houses sustained significant roof damage along a long track. Severe damage was also reported to several mobile homes, a radio tower and over 1,000 trees.|
|EF0||N of Vienna||Dooly||0320||6 miles (9.7 km)||One house sustained roof damage, a chicken house was destroyed and a tin roof was peeled from a barn.|
|EF3||St. Clair area||Burke||0334||26 miles (42 km)||Long track tornado with numerous houses and a church heavily damaged. A grocery store was also destroyed, as were many trees. Four people were injured, one seriously.|
|EF1||NE of Plains||Sumter||0340||1 mile (1.6 km)||Spotty light damage mostly to trees.|
|EF1||S of David||Glascock, Jefferson||0402||4 miles (6.4 km)||A church and its cemetery were heavily damaged. Many trees were knocked down.|
|EF1||Cobb area||Sumter, Crisp, Wilcox||0415||33 miles (53 km)||About 70 houses were damaged, some of them heavily. Heavy damage to trees and power lines.|
|EF0||NE of Keysville||Burke||0434||2 miles (3.2 km)||Many trees were knocked down.|
|EF0||W of Long Creek||Oconee||2230||unknown||Brief tornado with no damage.|
|EF1||S of Townville||Anderson||2323||3 miles (4.8 km)||Several houses were damaged due to fallen trees along Lake Hartwell, and a trailer was thrown off its blocks.|
|EF0||NW of Campbell||Anderson||2350||2 miles (3.2 km)||A few trees were snapped or uprooted.|
|EF1||NW of Watts||Abbeville||0023||2 miles (3.2 km)||Two houses were damaged, one of them by fallen trees.|
|EF2||Abbeville area||Abbeville||0028||7 miles (11 km)||A half-dozen homes lost their entire roof, numerous trailers were destroyed and other buildings were heavily damaged. Two people were injured.|
|EF1||S of Jonesville||Union||0032||4 miles (6.4 km)||At least four mobile homes were damaged with some debris landing in trees. A textile plant was also damaged.|
|EF1||Greenwood area||Greenwood||0041||5 miles (8.0 km)||A few houses were damaged, one of which lost its roof. Extensive and severe tree damage along the intermittent path.|
|EF1||N of Greenwood||Greenwood||0043||3 miles (4.8 km)||Several houses were damaged, one of which lost its roof. A train derailed after a tree fell on the track.|
|EF3||Beech Island area||Aiken||0257||15 miles (24 km)||Many houses and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. 14 people were injured and one indirect death occurred due to an auto accident.|
|EF1||N of Averill||Allendale||0426||1.2 miles (1.9 km)||Extensive tree damage along its path but no structural damage.|
|EF2||NE of Martin||Allendale||0430||1.2 miles (1.9 km)||A mobile home was heavily damaged and several other houses were damaged. Extensive tree damage.|
|EF0||NW of Millett||Barnwell||0521||unknown||Brief tornado damaged a few trees along the Savannah River.|
|EF0||E of Washington||Beaufort||0640||400 yards (370 m)||Minor damage to several houses, one of which had roof damage. Numerous trees were knocked down.|
|Sources: SPC Storm Reports for April 10, 2009, NWS Nashville, NWS Paducah, NWS Huntsville, NWS Morristown, NWS Birmingham, NWS Louisville, NWS Jackson, KY, NWS Peachtree City, NWS Charleston, SC, NWS Greenville, SC, NCDC Storm Data|
At 7:24 pm CDT (0024 UTC) on April 9, a tornado warning was issued for areas north of Mena in Polk County, Arkansas and at 8:01 pm CDT (0101 UTC) the warning extended into Mena. Nine minutes later, a tornado struck the city and killed three people. Thirty people were injured and 600 homes were either damaged or destroyed. One death was caused after the roof inside a lounge collapsed on the victim. The other two victims were killed after the tornado hit their homes. The Polk County Jail was severely damaged to the point that minor offense prisoners were released, with serious offenders taken to jails around the area. The Polk County Courthouse received damage after a radio antenna fell over onto part of the building, damaging the roof. The Mena Regional Health System also sustained damage, but continued to treat patients and ran off auxiliary power. The high winds from the tornado threw a bus into a tree. The roof at the Mena Middle School was significantly damaged, with part of the gymnasium roof ripped off and a portable classroom was destroyed. The damage to the middle school was so severe that it had to be condemned. The tornado also heavily impacted Rich Mountain Community College and destroyed two businesses at the city's industrial park. The tornado that hit Mena was rated EF3 by the National Weather Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
At 11:00 am CDT (1600 UTC) on April 10, a thunderstorm near the Tennessee River began prompting severe thunderstorm warnings, as it moved nearly 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) to the northeast and eventually made it into the Nashville Metropolitan Area by 11:45 am CDT (1645 UTC). At 12:19 pm CDT (1719 UTC), a tornado touched down in extreme southwestern Rutherford County, Tennessee 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Murfreesboro. Nineteen minutes later, it prompted a tornado emergency for Murfreesboro after weather spotters reported the tornado on the ground 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city. By 12:45 pm CDT (1745 UTC), the tornado had struck Murfreesboro with devastating results as two people were killed. The two victims were a mother and her 9–week–old daughter who were taking shelter inside their home when the tornado hit. Fifty-eight people were injured by the tornado. A total of 845 homes sustained damage from the tornado, of which 117 were destroyed, 298 had major damage, 175 suffered minor damage and 255 were directly affected.
During the tornado's 23.25 mile (37.42 km) path, it moved to the northeast for most of its existence, then turned to the east-southeast before dissipating. Damage was extensive in the city as a two-story office building had the upper floor completely removed. Several vehicles were picked up and tossed, including numerous semi-trailer trucks. At one area, a two-story brick home was nearly destroyed with only part of a kitchen wall left standing. In another area, three homes were destroyed and thrown off their foundations, with one of the three homes not properly anchored and the other two very well constructed. The tornado was rated EF4 by the National Weather Service in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the 28th tornado to hit Rutherford County since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1950 and the first killer tornado to hit the county during that period.
In response to this event the Rutherford County Home Builders Association and its Certified Professional Builder Program have coordinated a Disaster Response Team. The volunteers were trained by Emergency Management Services to help first responders at disaster sites with the necessary heavy equipment to aide in relief work.
During the passage of the dry line and cold front, very strong winds in central Oklahoma and northern Texas occurred behind the severe weather. Wind gusts exceeded 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) while dew points were in the 20s °F (below -2 °C) behind the dry line with temperatures reaching into the 80s °F (upper 20s °C). The combination of hot and very dry air and very strong winds sparked numerous wildfires during the late afternoon hours. In Oklahoma, 62 people were injured by the wildfires. One hundred structures were destroyed in Oklahoma County, of which 12 homes in Midwest City and 58 homes in Choctaw were destroyed. In Texas, three people were killed in Montague County, as wildfires burned more than 150,000 acres (610 km2) and destroyed two towns in the county. Officials later confirmed that one of the wildfires in Midwest City was set deliberately. In South Carolina, one man was killed in a car accident after crashing into trees that had fallen into the roadway as severe weather created poor visibility.
The Governor of Arkansas Mike Beebe declared five counties in Arkansas disaster areas after the damage caused by the severe weather. Fifty soldiers from the National Guard helped with removing debris and providing security while 60 prisoners also helped with debris removal. The local Wal-Mart was being used as a supply center as it was the only building with power. All Red Cross supplies were sent to the store and arrived on April 10. Two people from the Red Cross assisted victims of the tornado by providing tarps donated by a Lowe's store as well as flashlights and other supplies. Twelve others were sent to conduct damage assessments in Mena. A Southern Baptist Disaster Relief group cooked meals that would be served by the Salvation Army at three different locations. A mobile feeding operation provided meals for residents in De Queen, where a trailer park was destroyed by the inclement weather. On April 14, A group of 19 student-athletes and coaches from the University of Central Arkansas helped unload equipment that was moved from Mena Middle School to a middle school in Hatfield. As many as 300 seventh and eighth-graders were sent to the middle school in Hatfield, while 165 sixth-graders went to a Baptist church to complete the school year.
The Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen, United States Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, United States Representative Bart Gordon and the mayors of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County each toured the tornado damage in Murfreesboro. Sixteen Nashville-area Lowe’s stores served as donation sites for the Red Cross to assist people who have been affected by the tornado. Michael Waltrip Racing and Best Western aided victims by donating $7,500 and hotel rooms for those who were left homeless. Country singer Chris Young performed at Middle Tennessee State University for a tornado relief benefit. The Red Cross helped residents in Murfreesboro by serving nearly 15,000 meals and snacks, distributing nearly 4,000 cleanup and comfort kits, and provided counseling to more than 500 tornado victims and their families. The United Way set up the “United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties Long Term Recovery Fund” at a bank to accept donations for tornado victims. In South Carolina, Governor Mark Sanford made a visit to Aiken County to assess tornado damage. The Red Cross provided services and disaster relief to those affected in Aiken County such as tarps, food and beverages. A middle school was used as an emergency shelter, and The Salvation Army, Aiken County Emergency Management, Aiken County Sheriff's Office and Department of Social Services helped with the cleanup and removal of debris. In response to the wildfires, the Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry declared a state of emergency for 31 counties.
- Tornadoes of 2009
- List of United States tornadoes in 2009
- List of North American tornadoes and tornado outbreaks
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