May 30-31, 2004

A preliminary storm survey of late Sunday and early Memorial Day severe weather event was completed across north Alabama and into southern Middle Tennessee. Representatives from the National Weather Service in Huntsville Alabama, and local Alabama emergency management officials from Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison counties completed a preliminary damage assessment related to the severe weather that occurred late Sunday night and early on Memorial Day.

The severe storms that moved through the Tennessee Valley initially produced an extensive amount of straight line wind damage in northwest and western Lauderdale county. the first indications of wind damage in Lauderdale county occurred on Belview road between Aqua Vista and Houston town. Numerous homes suffered minor roof and related structural damage with the roof blown off of one home in this vicinity.

As the line of severe storms moved into the Florence vicinity, extensive tree damage occurred in and around McFarland Park.

The tree damage was essentially in the same fall direction, indicating straight line wind damage. Estimated wind speeds were around 80 miles an hour in the McFarland park area.

A tornado formed along the line of severe storms just north of Anderson Alabama and has been rated an F-1 on the fujita scale with wind speeds at 80 miles an hour. The short lived tornado had a width of around 75 yards and length of around a mile. An extensive portion of a roof was blown off of a home and deposited into a nearby field several feet away.




Further tree damage occurred in the Rogersville, Alabama vicinity with this line as it pushed eastward. Winds were  estimated to be around 70 miles an hour.

Additional wind damage was surveyed into Limestone county, where the line of severe storms produced widespread damage at the Coffman mobile home park along Hillman road and County road 99. The damaging winds along the line of storms increased to around 80 miles an hour in this vicinity, as three mobile homes were destroyed and a fourth mobile home was destroyed and moved about 100 feet.


Just to the northwest of the damage that occurred at the Coffman mobile home park along county road 99, a second F-1 tornado touched down in the Fort Hampton area along county road 99. Several trees were snapped in two and twisted apart along with two mobile homes being stacked on top of each other by the estimated 80 miles an hour winds. The tornado at this point was at around 100 yard width and was on the ground for around two miles.


Another extensive area of wind damage occurred in Madison county as the line of severe storms were moving east and northeast. Straight line wind damage was noted about two miles west through southwest of Highway 53 about 7 miles northeast of Athens, Alabama. Wind speeds at this was estimated at around 60 miles an hour along Ready Section road in northwest Madison county. Scattered straight line wind damage was indicated until near the Toney community.

Several trees were blown down near Toney and the Lick Skillet Alabama areas along Butter-Egg road between Charity lane and Bobo section roads, about three miles northwest of Hazel Green, Alabama. There was further evidence of a brief tornado touch down along Butter-Egg road. This was an F-0 tornado with wind speeds estimated at 70 miles an hour. The tornado at this point had a 100 yard width and a path length of one mile. Another tornado later touched down about 1.5 miles northeast of the initial touchdown just west of the Fisk community. This tornado had a 1.2 mile path length and was rated an F-1 tornado with wind speeds topping out at around 80 miles an hour.

Another tornado touched down just to the east of highway 231 about three miles north through northeast of Hazel Green, Alabama. This tornado began its path along Lincoln road about two miles south of the Tennessee/Alabama border. This tornado was initially rated an F-0 with wind speeds around 70 miles an hour. The intensity of the tornado increased to F-1 rating along the Stateline road about three miles southwest of Vanntown Tennessee and two miles north of Fairview Alabama. Wind speeds of the tornado at this point were at 80 miles an hour. The tornado continued at F-1 intensity until it moved to about three miles southeast of Vanntown Tennessee, just north of the Tennessee/Alabama border, where winds decreased to around 70 miles an hour.

Evidence of damage was continuous and tornadic with the tornado again reaching F-1 intensity with wind speeds estimated at around 80 miles an hour near Elora Tennessee. Franklin County Tennessee Emergency Management and the National Weather Service both assessed the damage to be straight line wind damage with a continuous northeast moving tornado track embedded within the wind damage into Franklin County, Tennessee out of Lincoln County, Tennessee. The tornado and associated high winds continued a northeast movement until dissipation occurred just southeast of the Huntland and Maxwell areas in Franklin county, Tennessee. Total path length of this tornado was 21 miles. Path width was at an average of 150 yards.

A storm survey was undertaken in Lincoln County Tennessee. This survey determined that straight line wind damage occurred. A track of wind damage surveyed began near U.S. Highway 64 (Pulaski Highway) about 3 miles west of Fayetteville, to about 3 1/2 miles north northwest of Fayetteville along U.S. Highway 431 (Lewisburg Highway) in the Howell community, to about 6 miles north of Fayetteville along U.S. Highway 231 (Shelbyville Highway) about a mile south of the community of Belleville. An isolated area of damage was investigated over the extreme northern portion of Lincoln County along U.S. Highway 231 near the border with Bedford and Moore counties. In the storm survey, there were numerous areas of small trees downed. The trees were felled in a fan pattern indicative of straight line winds.

The below images were taken in Lincoln County, with the first two of the Deer Valley area west of Fayetteville. The last two were along U.S. Highway 64, west of Fayetteville. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.