The storm front that moved through Middle Tennessee late in the night on Thursday, Feb. 20 brought high winds and severe thunderstorms, uprooted trees and caused minor structural damage in parts of Moore County.
A storm survey team was called out to investigate storm damage in Moore County on Friday morning.
The team from the National Weather Service surveyed damage in the Marble Hill area. According to a report issued from the National Weather Service a “tornado touched down in the Marble Hill Community along Marble Hill Road during the last evening hours …”
The tornado was classified as an EF-1. There were no injuries reported. The storm reportedly “damaged several barn and farm structures along Marble Hill Road, tearing the completely off one.”
A house sustained minor damage. Some large hardwood trees were uprooted along Marble Hill Road. A few of them were snapped and twisted near the base.
According to the report, the tornado apparently “lifted as it moved northeast across highway 50 and into the higher terrain of Bean Hollow.” The tornado traveled for approximately 1.63 miles and had winds as high as 95 MPH.
An EF-1 tornado is considered weak, with winds from 85 to 110 MPH.
In Franklin County, an EF-1 tornado was also reported near the Tims Ford area, starting just west of Riley Road and ending near Owl Hollow Road and Haddon Lane. The report said the tornado there lasted for approximately 1 mile. Several trees were uprooted and some farm buildings were damaged.
Along Owl Hollow Lane, a home sustained significant damage “when a farm building was completely destroyed and a portion of the rook was blown through the side of the house.”
A large portion of the farm building ended up inside one of the second story bedrooms. The residents said they received a warning of the storm coming and took shelter minutes before the storm arrived.
While most of the weather here in Moore County is monitored through the National Weather Service in Huntsville, Ala., the storm that swept through Middle Tennessee caused problems at the National Weather Service offices in Nashville.
Heavy winds at their offices near the radar site knocked out their Nashville transmitter, causing problems for the automated service for weather radios. They were able to broadcast a live signal instead.
State officials were helping Tennesseans prepare for severe weather. Ironically, the severe weather just happened to makes its way through the area during Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), National Weather Service and other supporting groups were using the week to conduct educational activities and drills to help people prevent injuries and deaths from tornadoes, damaging winds, flash floods, lightning and hail.
“Severe weather is most common during the Spring months of March, April and May across Tennessee, but it can occur any month of the year,” reminded NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tom Johnstone. “It’s important for all Tennesseans to pay attention to the weather, have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings, and have a plan to get underground or to the interior of the lowest level of a well-made structure when warnings are issued.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history.
On April 3 and April 4, 1974, 148 twisters touched down in 13 states, leaving 330 people dead and injuring more than 5,000.
In Tennessee, 50 people died as 28 tornadoes blew through 19 counties in middle and east Tennessee.