April 2002 tornado outbreak

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Coordinates: 40°N 86°W / 40°N 86°W / 40; -86

April 27–28, 2002 tornado outbreak
Type Tornado outbreak
Duration April 27–28, 2002
Tornadoes confirmed 48
Max rating1 F4 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak2 2 days
Damage ≥$224 million (2002 USD)
Casualties 6 fatalities, 256 injuries
Areas affected Central & Eastern United States

1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

2Time from first tornado to last tornado

The April 2002 tornado outbreak was a widespread outbreak that began on April 27, 2002 and ending on April 28, 2002. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska were affected on April 27. More tornadoes were reported in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia on the April 28.

Generally, tornado reports were widely scattered in each state, but significant to severe damage was noted in multiple states. Overall, the outbreak was responsible for six deaths, 256 injuries and a total in excess of $224 million in tornado damage, with wind and hail adding to the damage total.

Tornado table[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 11 18 12 6 1 0 48

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

April 27 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Nebraska
F1 W of Crete Saline 2006 4.5 miles
(7.2 km)
One barn and some fences were destroyed. Some homes sustained minor damage.
F0 S of Milford Seward 2025 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Brief tornado with no damage.
Kansas
F0 SW of Effingham Atchison 2110 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
A grain truck was blown over and one home had windows blown out. Two sheds were destroyed as well.
Iowa
F0 NW of Percival Fremont 2141 unknown Brief tornado with no damage.
F0 NW of Thurman Fremont 2150 unknown Brief tornado with no damage.
F0 S of Pacific Junction Mills 2158 unknown Brief tornado with no damage.
Illinois
F1 E of Belleville St. Clair 0335 1.7 miles
(2.7 km)
34 homes, an elementary school, and two large buildings were damaged.
F1 E of Kenner Clay 0505 5 miles
(8 km)
A mobile home and outbuilding were destroyed, a garage was turned on its foundation, a propane tank was thrown, and a car was flipped injuring its occupants. Three homes and a mobile home were also damaged.
F2 Galatia area Saline 0607 7.5 miles
(12 km)
Tornado struck Galatia directly, where 55 structures were damaged or destroyed. The roof of a car wash was blown off, and then the walls collapsed on a police cruiser that was sheltered there. A coal mine sustained a quarter million dollars in damage. Two persons were injured in an overturned trailer. Two brick homes lost their roofs and some walls.[1]
F3 NE of Valley Mission to NE of Cypress Union, Johnson 0618 19.3 miles
(30.9 km)
1 death - Several wood-frame houses and trailers were destroyed with 75 homes damaged in Union County. In Johnson County, 50 structures were damaged including a school. Major structural damage occurred in Dongola, along with the fatality. A recreational vehicle was tossed across Lake Dongola and impaled into the ground, and a train in town was derailed. Vehicles were flipped, mobile homes were destroyed, and block-foundation homes were swept away.[2][3]
F2 NW of Ganntown Johnson 0646 7 miles
(11.2 km)
Three mobile homes were heavily damaged or destroyed, injuring two.
F3 N of Reevesville to SE of Joy, KY Pope, Livingston, KY 0659 22 miles
(35.2 km)
A brick home and two mobile homes were destroyed, while farm buildings and a few homes were damaged.
Missouri
F2 N of Willow Springs Howell 0340 1.5 miles
(2.4 km)
One home was heavily damaged and six other homes and a barn were damaged. One church was rotated off its foundation and a radio tower was toppled.
F3 SW of Marble Hill Bollinger 0540 4 miles
(6.4 km)
1 death - Tornado struck a subdivision on the southwest edge of town. Six residences were destroyed out of 19 that were heavily damaged. Fifty outbuildings were damaged or destroyed. In addition to the fatality, 16 were injured. Many trees were downed and vehicles were stacked atop each other.[4]
F0 SE of Hayward New Madrid 0729 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Damage limited to trees
Kentucky
F1 N of Sheridan Crittenden 0735 2 miles
(3.2 km)
A few trailers were heavily damaged or destroyed.
F1 SW of Repton Crittenden 0739 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Damage limited to trees
F3 SE of Piney to Hanson Crittenden, Webster, Hopkins 0749 22 miles
(35.2 km)
Tornado struck the town of Providence, causing major damage. A dozen homes and farm buildings were damaged in Crittenden County. In Webster County, 16 mobile homes and 10 homes were destroyed while 100 homes were damaged; 26 people were injured in that county. In Hopkins County, four chicken houses (with an estimated 45,000 chickens inside) were blown off their foundations, and 10 to 15 residences were damaged.
Tennessee
F1 W of Tiptonville Lake 0740 3.5 miles
(5.6 km)
11 mobile homes and a shed were destroyed, while 12 mobiles homes and five homes were damaged.
Source:

Tornado History Storm Data - April 27, 2002

April 28 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Indiana
F1 SE of Tobinsport, IN to SW of Garrett, KY Perry, IN, Breckinridge, KY, Meade, KY 0805 32.3 miles
(51.7 km)
1 death - Several homes and outbuildings were destroyed with several other homes damaged. One church lost portions of its roof. The fatality was from a destroyed mobile home.
Kentucky
F1 W of Hartford Ohio 0840 9.5 miles
(15.2 km)
A mobile home and several outbuildings were destroyed. Several other homes and mobile homes were damaged as well.
F1 NW of Radcliff Hardin 0855 2 miles
(3.2 km)
26 homes were damaged, including two that had their roofs torn off.
F1 S of Moutardier Edmonson 0935 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Several homes lost their roofs.
Tennessee
F0 E of Whitlock Henry 0900 5 miles
(8 km)
20 homes were damaged and three transmission towers were destroyed.
F3 E of Rucker Rutherford 1234 3.2 miles
(5.1 km)
Seven mobile homes, five frame homes, and two barns were destroyed, while two mobile homes and 46 frame homes were damaged. Six horse/cattle were killed and 31 people were injured.
F2 S of Bradyville Cannon 1245 9.9 miles
(1.4 km)
One residence and three mobile homes were destroyed, while six other mobile homes were damaged.
F0 Mount Pleaseant area Maury 2042 0.1 miles
(0.16 km)
Brief tornado with no damage.
Ohio
F2 Crystal Springs to North Canton Stark 1758 7.2 miles
(11.5 km)
Tornado was a quarter-mile wide. 300 homes and 38 other buildings were damaged, with 25 structures and three businesses destroyed. A middle school building suffered extensive damage and was closed for nearly a week for repairs. A nearby high school was also damaged. Approximately 1000 trees were downed by the tornado and over 300 vehicles were damaged.[5]
Pennsylvania
F0 Sharpsville area Mercer 1835 6 miles
(9.6 km)
A fire tower was downed, while a barn and a garage were damaged.
F1 NW of Jackson Center to W of Mapledale Mercer, Venango 1845 16 miles
(25.6 km)
A garage, four barns, several decks and porches were destroyed while several homes, a factory building, sheds, and garages were damaged. A mobile home was also flipped over.
F1 W of Meridian Butler 1901 7 miles
(11.2 km)
Several homes and a barn sustained roof or siding damage
F0 NW of Maysville Armstrong, Indiana 1945 4 miles
(6.4 km)
A church steeple was toppled and a swimming pool was destroyed. A garage was also damaged while a home under construction was lifted from its foundation.
F2 Indiana area Indiana 2000 5 miles
(8 km)
One home was destroyed while 18 others were damaged. Some garages and barns were also damaged, and a large sign from a hotel was blown into a car lot, damaging several vehicles.
F1 NE of Deckers Point Indiana 2010 2 miles
(32 km)
Several sheds and garages were destroyed, while one home lost its roof.
F1 S of Jerseytown Columbia 2155 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Unknown damage occurred.
F1 N of McGillstown Lebanon 2213 1.5 miles
(2.4 km)
12 homes were damaged, and 15 barns were damaged or destroyed.
New York
F0 NE of Springville Erie 1850 0.7 miles
(1.1 km)
An outbuilding was damaged.
F2 SE of Belfast Allegany 1950 6.5 miles
(10.4 km)
A barn, a garage, and a home were destroyed. A silo, a barn and another home were damaged.
West Virginia
F1 N of St. Joseph Marshall 1915 1 mile
(1.6 km)
One barn was destroyed with several others damaged.
Virginia
F1 Bedford (1st tornado) Bedford 2031 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Four businesses were destroyed, while 25 homes and 58 businesses were damaged.
F2 Bedford (2nd tornado) Bedford, Campbell 2043 10 miles
(16 km)
Second, stronger tornado struck the Bedford area. 22 homes, six businesses, one church and two dozen farm buildings were destroyed while 329 homes, several RV vehicles, two churches and 45 businesses were damaged. Many trees and power lines were downed and a semi-trailer was damaged as well. 12 people were injured.
F2 N of Alpine Shenandoah 2055 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Four homes were destroyed, while 36 agriculture structures and 56 homes were damaged.
F1 W of Emporia Greensville 2335 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Three mobile homes were destroyed, while 50 homes, one business and an apartment complex were damaged. Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted, and three people were injured.
Maryland
F4 Rison to SE of Port Republic Charles, Calvert 2256 38 miles
(60.8 km)
3 deaths - $115 million in total damage. In Charles County, 100 homes and 49 businesses were destroyed. 638 homes and 143 businesses were damaged. 65% of the buildings in downtown La Plata were heavily damaged or destroyed, and a dentist's office was completely leveled. The town's 125 foot water tower was blown over as well. Multiple unanchored homes were swept completely away, and vehicles were tossed. Over 100 people were injured. In Calvert County, a number of structures were damaged or destroyed as well. Many trees and power lines were downed along the path. Tornado moved out over Chesapeake Bay before dissipating.
F2 La Plata area Charles 2302 3 miles
(4.8 km)
A weaker tornado affected the La Plata area with unknown additional damage.
F1 NE of St. Leonard Calvert 2342 5 miles
(8 km)
Unknown damage occurred.
F3 NW of Golden Hill to W of Royal Oak Dorchester 2355 18 miles
(28.8 km)
One house and several outbuildings were destroyed.
F0 SE of Wetipquin Wicomico 0028 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Damage was limited to trees.
Source:

Tornado History Storm Data - April 28, 2002

Central states (April 27)[edit]

Outbreak death toll
State Total County County
total
Illinois 1 Union 1
Kentucky 1 Breckinridge 1
Maryland 3 Calvert 2
Charles 1
Missouri 1 Bollinger 1
Totals 6
All deaths were tornado-related

A total of six tornadoes, all rated F0 or F1 in strength (see Fujita scale) were confirmed in these states. These first reported tornadoes of the outbreak - on the afternoon of the 27th - caused little or no damage.

3 tornadoes were reported later in the day in Missouri. An F2 tornado produced damage in Willow Springs, MO, and a large F3 tornado struck the Marble Hill, MO area in Bollinger County, MO shortly before midnight. This storm caused the first fatality of the outbreak, and produced $4 million in property damage.

Tornado reports began in Illinois late on the 27th and continued overnight into the 28th. Six tornadoes were reported in Illinois, 10 in Kentucky and one in Indiana. In Illinois, F3 damage was seen at Dongola, IL and Dixon Springs, IL, with over 50 homes damaged or destroyed in Dongola. F2 to F3 damage was also noted with a long track tornado that moved from Tobinsport, IN through Meade County, KY, south of Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Mid-Atlantic states (April 28)[edit]

Tennessee saw four tornadoes reported during the pre-dawn hours on the 28th, with a 5th tornado reported shortly after noon. The most substantial damage was seen at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where 31 injuries and $2.3 million in property damage was reported. The same supercell spawned an additional F2 tornado at Bradyville, Tennessee.

Sporadic but strong tornadoes were reported in all four states on the afternoon of the 28th. A strong F2 tornado produced $45 million in damage in and around Jackson Township, Stark County, Ohio, and additional tornadoes were reported across southwest Pennsylvania, southwest New York, and at Saint Joseph, West Virginia. The Saint Joseph supercell produced large hail a considerable time before this tornado occurred, and the parent supercell later produced the most severe weather recorded during this outbreak, after crossing into Virginia and Maryland.

Damage from the La Plata, Maryland tornado.

The worst damage of the outbreak was seen in parts of Virginia and Maryland. A supercell thunderstorm that had earlier produced the St. Joseph, WV tornado crossed the central Appalachian mountains, producing numerous hail and wind damage reports. The supercell has also spawned an F2 tornado in Shenandoah County, Virginia, blowing multiple vehicles and trucks from Interstate 81.

Shortly thereafter, funnel clouds were reported within the same supercell in Fauquier County, Virginia and Prince William County, Virginia.

The supercell then spawned a series of destructive tornadoes while crossing the Potomac River into Maryland, that moved along a nearly continual path starting south of Indian Head, Maryland and continuing into La Plata, Maryland, devastating La Plata's business district. Multiple homes were reduced to bare slabs by the La Plata tornado, and the damage was unintentionally rated as an F5. Further surveys revealed that the homes that were swept away were not attached to their foundations, and the tornado was then downgraded to an F4. Very large hail was also reported with these storms.[6] Much of La Plata had previously been decimated by an F3 tornado on November 9, 1926.

Farther south, tornadoes also produced damage in the City of Bedford, Virginia, and near Emporia, Virginia, along I-95 just north of the North Carolina state line. A total of $125 million in damage, four fatalities, and 122 injuries were directly caused by the Maryland storms (the most expensive in the history of the state). Another $8 million in damage, along with 17 injuries were reported in Virginia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]