DeRIDDER TORNADO
NOVEMBER 26th, 2003

During the late evening hours of November 26th (the night before Thanksgiving), severe weather broke out across portions of West-Central Louisiana.  The worst storm spawned an F2 tornado, which formed in Beauregard Parish and traveled northeast into Vernon Parish.  The following are pictures of the damage caused by the tornado.

DeRidder Tornado 1
Along Highway 26 southeast of DeRidder, two mobile homes were destroyed. Note the holes in the dirt where the tie downs were located - the twister pulled them completely out of the ground.
DeRidder Tornado 2
The steel frame of this mobile home now sits twisted, 50 yards from its original location.
DeRidder Tornado 3
This horse trailer was picked up and thrown at least a half-mile.
DeRidder Tornado 4
An unusual sight in Southwest Louisiana - a storm cellar!  This family escaped serious injury by evacuating to their storm cellar before the tornado destroyed their home.
DeRidder Tornado 5
The roof of a garage served as a projectile to destroy a truck and damage another one.

 

 

...STORM SURVEY OF THE BEAUREGARD/VERNON PARISH TORNADO...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COMPLETED A STORM SURVEY OF THE TORNADO THAT STRUCK BEAUREGARD AND VERNON PARISHES ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, NOVEMBER 26 2003. THESE WERE THE FACTS COMPILED:

1. THE TORNADO ORIGINATED NEAR HIGHWAY 27 NORTH OF SINGER, IN THE CARSON COMMUNITY OF BEAUREGARD PARISH, AROUND 950 PM. A FEW TREES WERE SNAPPED IN THIS AREA.

2. THE TORNADO MOVED ACROSS THE RURAL AREA BETWEEN HIGHWAY 27 AND US HIGHWAY 171, IN THE MENNONITE COMMUNITY. THE DAMAGE HERE WAS MAINLY TO TREES AND POWER LINES.

3. BY 10 PM, THE TORNADO WAS CROSSING US HIGHWAY 171, NEAR THE HIGHWAY 394 INTERSECTION. A FEW BARNS WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED IN THIS AREA, AS WELL AS NUMEROUS TREES AND POWER LINES.

4. THE TORNADO'S WORST DAMAGE OCCURRED ALONG HIGHWAY 26, NEAR SCALLON AND TOWNSLEY ROADS. AROUND 1010 PM, TWO MOBILE HOMES WERE FLIPPED OVER AND ROLLED BETWEEN 25 AND 50 YARDS BEFORE DISINTEGRATING ALONG HIGHWAY 26. ONE OF THE MOBILE HOMES HAD A MALE OCCUPANT, WHO RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES. THE OTHER MOBILE HOME WAS EMPTY. DEBRIS FROM THESE TWO HOMES WAS SCATTERED ACROSS THE COUNTRYSIDE FOR AT LEAST HALF A MILE. IN THIS AREA, AT LEAST ANOTHER 5 TO 10 HOMES WERE DAMAGED, AND ANOTHER 10 TO 15 BARNS AND OUT BUILDINGS WERE DESTROYED.

5. BY 1015 PM, THE TORNADO DESTROYED A WOODEN FRAME HOME IN THE LONGACRE COMMUNITY. THIS FAMILY WAS VERY WEATHER CONSCIOUS, AND HAD BUILT A STORM CELLAR, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND THAT I HAVE SEEN IN THIS PART OF LOUISIANA! THEY KNEW ABOUT THE TORNADO WARNING, SO THE ELDERLY COUPLE AND TWO OF THEIR GRANDCHILDREN CLIMBED INTO THE STORM CELLAR, SHORTLY BEFORE THE TORNADO DESTROYED THEIR HOME. THEY RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES FROM FLYING DEBRIS WHEN THE TORNADO PICKED UP PART OF THE ROOF OF THE SHELTER.

6. THE TORNADO FINALLY DISSIPATED IN A RURAL SECTION OF VERNON PARISH, JUST OFF OF HIGHWAY 399 IN THE MARKEE COMMUNITY. ONE MOBILE HOME HAD ITS ROOF BLOWN OFF, A WOODEN GARAGE WAS DESTROYED, AND SEVERAL TREES AND POWER LINES WERE DOWNED. THIS TIME OF THIS WAS AROUND 1020 PM.

7. THE FINAL TOTALS: F2 TORNADO, WITH WIND SPEED BETWEEN 120 AND 140 MPH AT ITS PEAK. IT WAS ON THE GROUND FOR APPROXIMATELY 18 MILES, WITH A WIDTH AT TIMES OF 200 YARDS, FOR AROUND 30 MINUTES.


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