Madison County Tornado May 4 2003

PRELIMINARY DAMAGE SURVEYS NOW INDICATE THAT TWO TORNADOES MOVED 
ACROSS MADISON COUNTY AND THE JACKSON TENNESSEE METROPOLITAN AREA ON
THE NIGHT OF SUNDAY MAY 4TH 2003 INTO THE MORNING OF MONDAY MAY 5TH
2003. THE FIRST TORNADO PRODUCED LOW END F-4 TORNADO DAMAGE IN
DOWNTOWN JACKSON...WITH ADDITIONAL F-1 TO F-3 DAMAGE ALONG AN 18
MILE CONTINUOUS PATH. THIS TORNADO CONTINUED EAST ON A
NON-CONTINUOUS PATH FOR AN ADDITIONAL 18 MILES...PRODUCING MORE F-1
TO F-2 DAMAGE. PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENTS FROM A HELICOPTER FLY OVER
CONDUCTED ON THE MORNING OF FRIDAY MAY 9TH...INDICATED THAT THE
JACKSON-MADISON COUNTY TORNADO CONTINUED ON TO PRODUCE THE
LEXINGTON-HENDERSON COUNTY TORNADO DAMAGE.

THE SECOND TORNADO THAT PRODUCED ANOTHER DAMAGE PATH ACROSS MADISON
AND HENDERSON COUNTIES WAS RATED AT F-1 TO F-2 INTENSITY ALONG A
NON-CONTINUOUS PATH...STARTING 2 MILES NORTHEAST OF NEELY AND
CONTINUING THROUGH THE BEMIS AREA. IN THESE AREAS...THE TORNADO WAS
ESTIMATED TO BE ONE-HALF MILE WIDE AND PRODUCED F-2 TORNADO DAMAGE.
SEVERAL HOUSES IN THE PATH OF THIS TORNADO WERE HEAVILY
DAMAGED...INCLUDING EXTENSIVE ROOF DAMAGE. THE INITIAL DAMAGE PATH
WAS ESTIMATED TO BE 5 MILES IN LENGTH. THE THUNDERSTORM THAT
PRODUCED THIS TORNADO CONTINUED ON TO THE EAST...PRODUCING
ADDITIONAL SHORT-TRACKED TORNADOES TO THE SOUTHWEST OF LEXINGTON IN
HENDERSON COUNTY. IN THESE AREAS...A 7 MILE LONG NON-CONTINUOUS
DAMAGE PATH WAS DOCUMENTED WITH A TORNADO WIDTH ESTIMATED BETWEEN
100 TO 200 YARDS. SEVERAL HOUSES IN THE AREA EXPERIENCED ROOF
DAMAGE. THIS TORNADO WAS RATED AS AN F-1 ON THE FUJITA TORNADO
INTENSITY SCALE.

THERE ARE NOW 11 CONFIRMED FATALITIES...WITH 2 FATALITIES CONFIRMED
IN THE CITY OF JACKSON...AND 9 ADDITIONAL FATALITIES ACROSS THE
REMAINDER OF MADISON COUNTY. ALL 9 FATALITIES THAT OCCURRED IN THE
COUNTY WERE IN MOBILE HOMES. THE 2 FATALITIES IN THE CITY WERE IN
CONVENTIONAL BUILDINGS.

TORNADO DAMAGE WAS RATED AS F-2 ON THE FUJITA SCALE IN EAST
JACKSON...WHERE IT PRODUCED EXTENSIVE TORNADO DAMAGE TO THE PROCTOR
AND GAMBLE INDUSTRIAL PLANT. IN ADDITION...THE TORNADO CAUSED SEVERE
DAMAGE TO THE LOCAL POWER AND WATER UTILITIES THROUGHOUT MADISON
COUNTY...ESPECIALLY IN THE CITY OF JACKSON. THE WATER SUPPLY HAS
ALSO BEEN CUT OFF.
 

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