Eastern Jackson (AL) / Northern De kalb (AL) - EF-4 (Section to Flat Rock to GA)

 

Rating EF-4 Peak Wind 190 MPH
Path Length 27.76 Miles Peak Path Width 1.0 Mile
Starting Point 34.620777, -85.981407 Ending Point 34.843106, -85.579857
Starting Time 4:01 PM  Ending Time 4:36 PM
Complete Tornado Track Map

 Complete Tornado Track

 Zoomed in Image of Track From: NE of Section near Highway 35 to Pisgah to  Flat Rock 

 

The image above depicts the southern portion of this tornado track through the Pisgah community and further northeast. 

 

      

    A violent long-track tornado began its life about 3 miles northeast of Section as an EF-0 to EF-1 tornado with peak wind speeds of 70 to 90 mph snapping or uprooting several soft and hardwood trees. The tornado rapidly intensified to high end EF-3 to low end EF-4 strength within a matter of minutes with peak wind speeds of 150 to 170 mph and a path width of 1/2 to 3/4 mile as it roared into areas northeast of Pisgah and north of Rosalie. Residents interviewed remarked that this tornado was multi-vortex with up to three tornadoes merging into one very large tornado. There was some evidence of this in the damage swath, but an aerial survey may prove more telling. This tornado demolished several mobile homes and block foundation homes in its path, and snapped or uprooted thousands of trees. Numerous trees were debarked in the process. The tornado leveled at least two mobile homes and swept their remains hundreds of yards downwind. Three were killed in three separate homes along this first part of the tornado's path. Several vehicles were launched or swept several yards in different directions, in a few cases up to 50 yards away from their initial location. The Friendship Church roof was heavily damaged. Several farms were also affected, with barns and chicken houses heavily damaged or destroyed. As the tornado continued its track, it intensified even further to high-end EF-4 intensity with peak winds of up to 190 mph as it approached the Flat Rock and Higdon communities. The tornado killed another three from the same family at a residence southwest of Flat Rock. The tornado mowed down thousands of trees in a 1/2 to 3/4 mile path width. One well-built block foundation home literally exploded as the tornado struck, lifting and sweeping all its structure and contents downwind, in some cases several hundred yards. However, miraculously, a mother and three children taking refuge in a hallway were completely unharmed. At this farm, all fencing was destroyed and up to 19 cattle were killed. Two chicken barns were completely obliterated and swept away unidentifiably. A propane tank was lifted from the previous location of chicken barns and dropped over 100 yards away in front of the destroyed home. 

 

 Zoomed in Image of Track From:
Flat Rock to Higdon to Dade county, GA

 

 

Northern portion of tornado track across Dekalb County in Google Earth.

Click on the image above to display an experimental contoured map created by Suheiley Lopez (UPRM) dipicting the strength of damage indicators seen along the northern portion of this track during NWS storm surveys.

       

     The tornado continued its wide path and violent destruction across the northern tip of Dekalb County in the Shiloh community, killing up to 5 people in this area. Several cinder block foundation homes and mobile homes were completely destroyed or swept away. In addition, thousands of large trees were sheared off toward the base. An older two-story (fairly well-built) log cabin was destroyed. The top story of this home was lifted off, moved about 20 yards and twisted 180 degrees. The lower story collapsed and was shifted off its foundation. A senior citizen van was lofted and dropped into a field nearly 400 yards away. At least three chicken barns were collapsed with a high loss of livestock noted. The tornado crossed into Dade County Georgia with a 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide path along County Road 155 north of Highway 75. This tornado continued further northeast into Dade and Walker counties in Georgia before lifting.

Radar Data

Hytop, AL Radar (HTX) Reflectivity (click to loop) Hytop, AL Radar (HTX) Storm Relative Velocity (click to loop)
HTX 0.5 degree reflectivity loop of the EF-4 tornado track -- 4:01 PM to 4:39 PM CDT April 27 2011 HTX 0.5 degree reflectivity loop of the EF-4 tornado track -- 4:01 to 4:39 PM CDT April 27 2011

 

 

Tornado Damage Photos

   
Several trees were blown down and one medium size tree was snapped off near its trunk in the middle of the picture. 
The remains of the Huddle House restaurant in Rainsville along Hwy 75.
Substantial damage to the siding of this home occurred.
    
Debris from nearby houses are piled near the road and numerous large trees were uprooted in this picture. 
 
This house was wiped from its foundation and most of the debris was moved far away from the residence.  A telephone pole is leaning in the distance as well.
  
This home was swept off its foundationas well.  Most of the debris was left standing on the foundation.
 
Another view of what was left of the house.  One wall almost remained standing inthe far corner.

 Back to April 27 Survey Info


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.