Evansville Tornado of November 2005
|Evansville, IN area tornado of November 6, 2005 taken by a webcam at Deaconess Women’s Hospital in Newburgh.|
|Date of tornado outbreak:||November 5–6, 2005|
|Duration1:||10 hours 25 minutes|
|Maximum rated tornado2:||F3 tornado|
|Areas affected:||Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio|
1Time from first tornado to last tornado
The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 was an F3 tornado that formed early in the morning of November 6, 2005, outside of Evansville, Indiana, USA. It was the first of several tornado events that November. The tornado resulted in 25 confirmed fatalities across the region, making it the deadliest and most destructive November tornado in Indiana's history.
The system formed on a cold front that tracked across the Midwest and stretched from the northern Great Lakes to Tennessee. The front was enhanced by a strong jet stream and warm, humid air ahead of it, allowing thunderstorms to develop. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the region just west of Evansville as the main threat appeared to be straight-line winds. The system had formed into a squall line but at about 1:30 am CST (0730 UTC), the squall line broke up in the Ohio Valley area, as the low level jet intensified, allowing embedded tornadoes to form rapidly out of newly formed supercells. They were fairly isolated (only seven were confirmed across the entire region over a 24-hour period) but four significant tornadoes formed from two simultaneous supercells in southern Indiana and western Kentucky — one of them was the deadly Evansville tornado.
|F#||Location||County||Time (UTC)||Path length||Damage|
|F3||Evansville area||Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick, IN;
|25 deaths - see section on this tornado.|
|Complete destruction to several homes, including a two-story house. At least five people were injured along its path, which was 150 yards (137 m) wide.|
|F2||Munfordville||Hart||1045||unknown||Significant damage was reported in the community. Buildings were destroyed and others severely damaged. Trees fell across roads.|
|F1||Garrison||Christian, Douglas||0200||17 miles
|Damage was minor; only one home was affected.|
|Two mobile homes were destroyed, trees fell.|
|F0||Tucker||Ripley||0500||unknown||No damage reported from this brief tornado.|
|F0||Russellville||Brown||1225||unknown||Brief touchdown in field according to public accounts. No damage reported.|
Evansville area tornado
On Sunday, November 6, 2005 at around 1:50 am CST (0750 UTC), a tornado touched down 2 miles (3 km) north-northwest of Smith Mills in Henderson County, Kentucky, near the Indiana/Kentucky border, and then crossed the Ohio River into Vanderburgh County, Indiana. Staying just south of I-164, the tornado traveled to the northeast causing extensive damage to parts of Evansville, Newburgh, and Boonville. The tornado lifted in Spencer County, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-southwest of Gentryville. According to a damage survey done by the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Kentucky the damage path was at least 400 yards (365 m) wide and 41 miles (66 km) long. The tornado's maximum wind speed was estimated to be 200 mph (320 km/h), making it a high-end F3 on the Fujita scale.
Tornado warnings were in effect at the time and issued on average about 30 minutes before the tornado hit, but few people were alerted as many were asleep as the tornado hit in the overnight hours. The local NOAA Weather Radio transmitter was experiencing technical difficulties at the time, causing some weather radios to not sound an alarm. The tornado killed 25 people; two of the victims died from injuries more than a month after the storm. Damages were estimated at around $85 million.
Ellis Park Racecourse, (a horse racing facility between Henderson and Evansville), was directly hit by the tornado. The track suffered heavy damage; 11 of its 38 barns were destroyed and another 11 were damaged, and several of their racehorses were killed. Extensive tree damage also occurred in the area as the tornado leveled a swath of forests. The worst damage occurred in the southeast side of Evansville, where the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park suffered extreme damage from the tornado. Among the 350 trailers in the park, over 100 were flattened and another 125 were severely damaged. Twenty people were killed in the park and another 230 were injured. Electricity service was cut for over 25,000 customers in the area after the tornado hit.
Severe damage was also reported in Warrick County, where five more people died. The communities of Paradise, DeGonia Springs, Newburgh, Boonville, and Tennyson all sustained major damage, including houses damaged or destroyed, as a result.
The community's response to the tornado garnered national praise. Brad Gair, a coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) noted, "I don't think I've ever seen a community of people come out so quickly to help each other. All communities come together after a disaster, but this one is exceptional." A local telethon helped raise the funds. "Just having a telethon that quickly was amazing," said Gair, "Then to raise that kind of money ... That's unusual."
On August 12, 2006 a granite monument memorial was built at Eastbrook Mobile Home Park, along with a new playground dedicated to the children lost in the tornado. It was part of a campaign launched by two parents that lost children in the tornado. In addition, Rep. Phil Hoy introduced a bill called "CJ's law" which mandates that manufacturers of mobile homes install an operating weather radio with a separate power outlet in order to alert residents. It was named after victim C.J. Martin, who was two years old. Vanderburgh County also passed legislation toughening safety standards for their 3,100 mobile homes, requiring them to be more securely anchored with additional straps and braces, to try to prevent another tornado disaster.
Ellis Park was rebuilt and reopened on June 1, 2006, for training. The first races at the rebuilt facility were held on July 19, 2006.
Local television station WEHT began a campaign after the tornado to provide weather radios to tornado victims for free, and to all for a discounted price. Even WEHT's competitors have now posted how to program a weather radio on their websites. This program has since spread to many different areas of the country.
"Habitat of Humanity" Evansville Chapter launched construction of "Operation Home Again," the New Haven Subdivision, which are new homes dedicated to the survivors of the tornado at Green River Road and Fickas Road. When complete the subdivision will have 55 homes, a playground, and a park. There are four streets in the subdivision – Inspiration Street, Healing Street, Promise Street, and Belief Street.
|All deaths were tornado-related|
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- "Severe Thunderstorm Watch 844". Storm Prediction Center. 2005-11-06. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
- "Severe Thunderstorm Watch # 844" (GIF image). Storm Prediction Center. 2005-11-06. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
- "NOAA Public Affairs Release". NOAA. Retrieved 2005-11-07.
- "NOAA Public Affairs Release". NOAA. Retrieved 2005-11-08.
- "NOAA Public Affairs Release". NOAA. Retrieved 2005-11-06.
- "NOAA Storm Prediction Center". NOAA. Retrieved 2005-11-08.
- "Tornado kills 22 in Indiana". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- NCDC Storm Events-Select State
- "Ellis Park has had its share of ups, downs". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-03-25.
- Evansville Tornado on Nov. 6, 2005
- NCDC: Event Details
- 14 WFIE, The Tri-State's News Leader: Historic Tornado Outbreak Sunday
- "FEMA Director Praises Local Teamwork". Evansville Courier & Press. 2005-11-10. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006. Retrieved 2005-11-15.
- "Playground, monument a tribute to victims of Nov. 6 tornado". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- "Mobile home standards approved". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- "Ellis Park Website". Archived from the original on December 11, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- "News 25's Digital Weather Radio Hub". Evansville, IN: News 25. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- "Weather Alert Radio at Wesselman's". Evansville, IN: 14 WFIE. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- "Midland Digital All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio with S.A.M.E. Technology". Lexington, KY: WKYT. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- "Habitat Web Site". Retrieved 2008-06-10.[dead link]
|Wikinews has related news: Indiana tornado kills at least 19|