Tornadoes Affect the Communities of Blanket and Rotan


After a relatively quiet severe weather season, the communities of Blanket in east-central Brown County and Rotan in northern Fisher County were greeted with tornadic supercells this past week.  Four tornadoes were confirmed including an EF-1 tornado in Blanket.  This is the first non EF-0 tornado in more than 2 years (with the last occurring on April 21, 2011 in Jones County. 


Photo of the Blanket tornado submitted by Jake Schwab. This photo was taken just south of Blanket.
On Monday, a tornado touched down in Blanket, a small community with a population of 390 per the 2010 census.  This tornado touched down near the Blanket school campus at 5:41 PM on the west side of town, producing EF-1 damage (estimated winds up to 105 mph), removing part of the roof from the gymnasium and producing damage to neighboring buildings.  This tornado moved south across the cemetary, destroying a newly added pavilion on the cemetary grounds.  Just past the cemetary, this tornado struck a home on Cherokee Trail, removing a large portion of the roof.  As the tornado moved south, crossing Highway 67, it produced minor roof and tree damage along its path. This path stretched south all the way to County Road 294. Two additional brief tornadoes were reported, one between Lake Brownwood and Owens at 4:35 PM, and a second 5 miles north northeast of Zephyr at 6:00 PM.  Both of these tornadoes were rated as EF-0.  Thankfully, there were no injuries with this storm.


 Blanket Damage Path
The Blanket Tornado Path (Click for larger image)
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On the evening of Thursday, May 23, a supercell thunderstorm was bearing down on the community of Rotan (population of approximately 1600) just after 6:00 PM.  At 6:12 PM, a tornado touched down on the east side of town on East Lee Street.  This tornado moved slowly to the south-southwest across the west side of the school near the track at Roby Avenue and Highway 92.  This tornado continued along the south-southwest path, producing mainly tree damage across the southeast side of town before lifting near the intersection of South Genevieve Avenue and Highway 70.  The damage associated with this tornado was found to be associated with winds less than 85 mph.  This resulted in a rating of EF-0.


 Rotan Damage Path
The Rotan Tornado Path (Click for larger image)

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