Fayetteville Tornado Track Map 

Rating

EF-4

Peak Wind 207-260 MPH
Path Length

7.0 miles

Peak Path Width 300 yards
Starting Point

35.15, -86.583333

Ending Point 35.216667, -86.466667
(Estimated)
Starting Time

4:30 PM

Ending Time  UNKNOWN
Fatalities

2

Injuries  166

Tornado Description


An F-4 rated tornado with wind speeds in the range from 207 to 260 miles an hour, moved east-northeast through the immediate Fayetteville, Tennessee area around 430 pm cst on February 29, 1952. The tornado was estimated to be at least 300 yards wide and was on the ground continuously for around seven miles, initially touching down just northwest of the Old Lincoln County Hospital, before lifting near the Lincoln County Lifestock Market along Highway 64.  According to the Lincoln County News, now the Elk Valley Times, “ Eugene E. McGehee, died only a few minutes after arriving at the hospital. The other casualty, Willard McCown, was killed instantly when his home on Polk Street was blown away.

The Lincoln County News gave this detailed account  of the surveyed damage.  “ A complete survey of the damage by Tennessee state officials showed that of the 1,828 buildings in Fayetteville, 932 were damaged or destroyed. The survey was broken down as follows:  There were 139 homes destroyed, 152 with major damage, another 164 with minor damage, 23 farm buildings were destroyed, 15 farm buildings with major damage, and 11 farm buildings with minor damage.  There were 105 business structures destroyed, 58 businesses with major damage, 37 businesses with minor damage and 9 businesses with superficial damage.  Damage to six churches alone in the downtown Fayetteville city area was at $300,000, estimated by the Reverend J.E. Wolfe, disaster chairman of the local Red Cross chapter.  

This was also the fourth tornado that struck the city of Fayetteville, Tennessee in a similar track in 100 years. The previous tornadoes that struck the Fayetteville area were on March 14, 1851, March 27, 1890, and April 29, 1909.  Property damage in 1952 numbers was estimated to be at more than $3,000,000, and this does not include the many trees that were downed and destroyed by the tornado.

 

Tornado Damage Photos

 


Tornado Damage at Unknown Location, Fayetteville, Tennessee (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
Tornado Damage- North Jackson Court, Fayetteville, Tennessee. (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

Extensive tornado damage to David Home on Old Mulberry Road, Fayetteville, Tennessee 
Extensive tornado damage to Davis Home on Old Mulberry Road, Fayetteville, Tennessee
(Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
Tornado Damage- Underwood Garage, Fayetteville, Tennessee (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Extensive tornado damage in foreground along West College Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee
(Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  St. Mary Magdalene Church heavily damaged at the corner of Washington Street and Elk Avenue, Fayetteville, Tennesee. (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Extensive tornado damage that resulted in a large fire on East Washington Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee  (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Tornado damage at the Fayetteville Rotary Club location in 1952, Fayetteville, Tennessee.
(Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Tornado damage along East Polk Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee. (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Another photo of tornado damage on Polk Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee.(Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Tornado Damage at the corner of College Avenue and Adams Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
  Strong F-3 to low end F-4 Tornado Damage to area near and at Halcomb's Garage at the corner of College Avenue and Lincoln Court, Fayetteville, Tennessee 
 (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 

 
  Strong F-3 to low end F-4 Tornado Damage along Adams Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

 

 
 F-4 Tornado Damage along Mulberry Avenue, Fayetteville, Tennessee (Courtesy of Jim Cashion)

Survivor Testimonials

Iris Askins Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

Felix Carter Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

Janice Hastings Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

Mayor John Ed Underwood Interview
Click here for  Interview Transcript

Wilma Bearden Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

Francis Smith Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

Bobby Gross Interview
Click here for Interview Transcript

 

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