SPC Stats

Path length: 51.45 miles

Width:  1320 yards

Fatalities:  4

Injuries:  25

Rating:  EF3

County:  Webster, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Monroe

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  33.7114 / -89.3164    End:  34.022 / -88.5035

Corrected coordinates Based on Analysis of Aerial and Satellite Imagery:

Start:  33.700496 / -89.354804    End: 34.005477 / -88.499617 

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Summary

This was the predecessor to the infamous Smithville tornado. The areas damaged by this twister received very little attention, and no complete survey was made of the track by the National Weather Service (NWS). We dug deep into both the stories and the damage. What we found was astounding.

A photo of the tornado south of Houston. Image from Jay Bullard.

The tornado began almost on top of MS Highway 9, about 3.3 miles SSE of Slate Springs. Damage in that area was confined to sporadically uprooted trees in a 460 yard (0.26 mile) wide swath. After spending 3.5 miles in Webster County, it crossed into extreme southeast Calhoun County. The twister narrowed and remained unchanged in strength for another few miles. Near the Calhoun/Chickasaw County border, the tornado began to intensify slowly. One residence was damaged, and a barn was destroyed. In far southwestern Chickasaw County, a nearly completed home under construction lost half of its roof, along County Road 341 south of Atlanta.

Damage to a home under construction. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

Anchor Community

Five miles northeast of that building, a few residences along the southern edge of the circulation suffered shingle damage. Two adjacent mobile homes were more directly hit along County Road 98, 1.7 miles SW of Anchor. Both were completely destroyed, with one being thrown about 50 yards into uprooted and snapped trees.

Two mobile homes that were destroyed. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
A photo of the tornado near Houston, MS around this time. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

The tornado widened to 1,090 yards (2/3rds of a mile) and struck the Anchor community south of Houston. Grady and Susan Barnett’s home at the corner of Highway 15 South and Country Road 416 was demolished. A family member told the Chickasaw Journal, “We rode out Hurricane Katrina in that house, but this storm destroyed it in about five minutes.” On their property, a horse trailer flipped into a nearby pond, a lawnmower was ripped in half, and they had a 4-wheeler destroyed. The Barnetts were not home when the tornado hit.

An aerial view of the damage to the Barnett home. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
A ground level view of damage to the Barnett home. Image via the Chickasaw Journal.

“Enough can’t be said for folks out here,” said Jo Mixon. Her home off Highway 15 and two others belonging to other family members were heavily damaged. “I’ve got family who live all around here, and while we’ve got a few who have cuts and bruises, we’re blessed that we’re all alive.”

Sonora Community

Several more homes were destroyed about 1.7 miles east-northeast in the Sonora Community. This included one large single-story house that only had an interior wall remaining. It strengthened even further in a field east of that large home. Hardwood trees were uprooted, stripped, and partially debarked, and some minor grass scouring occurred. The intense tree damage persisted into thickly wooded areas across the Natchez Trace Parkway. A large stretch of forest there was utterly flattened.

A view of a large destroyed home. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
An aerial view of the track of the tornado looking east-northeast. The large home destroyed in Sonora can be seen at bottom. Image from Tim Beckett.
Another aerial view of the damage path. Image from Tim Beckett.
Damage in a field southeast of Sonora. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, and Google Earth.
Intense tree damage along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Image from the Mississippi Emergency Management.

Dixieland Community

Heading northeast away from the Natchez Trace Parkway, the tornado rammed into a set of hog houses off Arbor Grove Road. Three of the structures were completely swept away, three more collapsed, and two others lost parts of their roofs. Reportedly, there were no hogs in the buildings. Willis Young had a mobile home off Dixieland Road. He told the Chickasaw Journal, “Seven trees fell on my roof, but that’s what kept the trailer from blowing away while we were in it.”

Damage to the hog farm. Image from the Mississippi Emergency Management.
An aerial view of the damage swath. Image from Tim Beckett.

B.J. Long and Jay Criddle were neighbors who lived off of Highway 8 in the Dixieland Community. Both told their stories to the Chickasaw Journal for their May 4, 2011 edition. “They tell you it sounds like a train, and it did. We saw it headed toward the house and got in the truck and took off.” B.J.’s double-wide trailer was obliterated. Trees surrounding his home were partially stripped of their bark. A truck had been thrown into a field behind the trailer and across Highway 15 was another destroyed vehicle. A road sign that was found amid the debris was carried from a bridge near Enon Church, three miles away.

B.J. Long amidst the debris of his home. Image from the Chickasaw Journal.

Neighbor A.J. Criddle was not home when the tornado hit. He had gone to pick up his daughter from school. Per the Chickasaw Journal, Criddle had just completed repairs to his roof from a storm that caused damage the previous week. This tornado removed the roof on the south side of his wood and brick home. Criddle told the paper, “It looks like they shot the side of my house with a shotgun. All the windows are broken, and the door on the far side of the house was blown out.”

An aerial view of the damage along Highway 8. At center was where B.J.’s double-wide trailer once stood; at top, the home of A.J. Criddle.

Macedonia Community

The tornado shrank to roughly 550 yards wide and crossed County Road 418 in the rural Macedonia community. A church and two homes suffered minor damage, and two outbuildings were leveled. A large, four-year-old home was wiped from its foundation and disintegrated.

A large home that was swept away. Image from the Chickasaw Journal.
An aerial view of the destroyed home. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

After briefly weakening in more forested areas, the tornado reintensified and powered through a small neighborhood in western portions of Buena Vista. Sporadic but substantial grass scouring occurred along a narrow swath. Three substantial, single-story homes were reduced entirely to piles of rubble. Two smaller residences were swept away, and a handful of others received varying degrees of damage.

A large brick home that lost its roof and several exterior walls. The torn up grass is not scouring, but from heavy machinery. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
Damage in western portions of Buena Vista along County Road 406. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, and Google Earth.
Radar velocity and reflectivity of the storm at this time via GR2 Analyst.

Once again the twister weakened, but was left with enough power to destroy half of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church and heavily damage nearby residences north of Buena Vista.

A ground level view of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
An aerial view of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

Okolona

The tornado began to widen and intensify, scouring bare soil in an unplanted field. One mobile home was hurled 250 yards before creating a deep impact mark in the ground where it landed. The disintegrating remains continued to tumble and scar the ground before dropping into a large pond. The distance from the mobile home’s original location and the water’s edge was about 400 yards. Several other nearby houses and mobile homes around the intersection of County Roads 157 and 159 were destroyed.

A graphic showing the journey of a mobile home off of County Road 157. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, and Google Earth.
Damaged and destroyed houses and mobile homes along County Road 159. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, and Google Earth.
A mobile home frame. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

Several more areas of trees were snapped, uprooted, and debarked over another mile of track. Explosive intensification occurred where the tornado entered a field. Grass and up to several inches of topsoil were scoured away along a 30-40 yard wide swath over a 0.75-mile stretch. The tornado had a forward speed of 61 mph when it produced this damage. This is incredible because the extreme winds would only have lasted 1-2 seconds. The area of scouring lessened in intensity but still remained extremely violent as it approached several homes on County Road 149.

The beginning of the extreme scouring can be seen on the right hand side of the photo. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
A view of the damage swath south of Okolona. The extreme scouring and Chapel Grove areas are labeled in red. Image from Tim Beckett.

83-year-old Frank Westbrook and his wife were in their home off County Road 149 when the tornado roared in. The house was hit and collapsed, burying the couple in the debris. Frank had just enough room to move his foot and push his way out of the rubble. Two men came to Frank’s aid and helped rescue his wife. In an interview for WTVA, Frank recalled the events of that day. Even though they had lost everything, he was still all smiles when thinking about his wife. “As long as I had her out of there and safe, everything was alright. As far as losing this (his home), it was no hassle.”

Mary Ruth Ellis was interviewed just after the tornado by WCBI-TV. Most days, she would have been home during the afternoon. But, on April 27, 2011, Mary Ruth had gone to Okolona to pay the electric bill. She returned to find her home of over 50 years, built by her husband, was devastated by the tornado. When WCBI interviewed her, she was searching through the wreckage and looking for her china cabinet. “Everything I had on this earth is gone.”

A 70-yard wide swath of grass scouring continued after the tornado crossed County Road 149. A grove of hardwood trees along that zone was obliterated in extreme fashion. Many were torn out of the ground, delimbed, denuded, almost completely stripped of bark, and moved significant distances. Vegetation damage of this magnitude is exclusive to EF5 tornadoes.

A view of the damage along County Road 149. At far bottom left, the foundation of Mary Ellis’ home can be seen. The rubble of Frank Westbrook’s home is at center left. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, USGS NAIP imagery, and Google Earth.
At bottom, grass scouring and extreme tree damage just east of County Road 149. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
The damage swath across County Road 149. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
Google Street view imagery from April of 2014 along County Road 149. Stunted and deadened trees were left along the path.

Nancy Sullivan was in Jackson, MS, the day of the tornado. She explained to WTVA-TV that she was on the phone with her sister-in-law when “she kind of screams and says it’s hit! In a little while, she called me back and said Nancy, you don’t have a house, and I was devastated.” Nancy returned to Okolona to find her home of 35 years was demolished. The very large and possibly well-constructed brick home was razed, with only a small pile of debris left on part of the slab. A swath of moderate grass scouring passed within yards of the residence as well. Nancy commented to Justin Lewis of WTVA that it was a blessing they weren’t home. The area they considered to be their safe spot in the home had “completely vanished.” It was a hall bathroom. Per Nancy, “It’s not even in the field.”

A view of scouring in a field. The foundation of Nancy Sullivan’s brick home is at far top right. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.

Across the road, Doris Hill had planned to place flowers on her late husband’s grave. It was something she did every year on his birthday. Her plan was halted by the sound of the tornado sirens blaring and a visit from Earl Lewis, a long-time family friend. Earl and his wife rushed over to check on Doris, knowing the tornado threat was imminent. The friends saw the twister roaring toward them and took cover in the bathroom. Earl told WCBI-TV, “I’ve never been that close to one [a tornado], don’t ever want to be that close, looked like it had little fingers around it.” Part of the roof of the home was removed, two bedrooms were heavily damaged, and all of the windows were blown out. Next door, a large brick furniture factory was fully leveled to a pile of rubble. Just south of it, a small home was wiped clean from its slab. A nearby vehicle was thrown 80-100 yards into a ditch. Nearby, yet another large brick house was swept away except for a couple of walls.

At top, the slab of a small home. Below it is a pile of rubble that was once a furniture store. At bottom is Doris Hill’s home. Image from Linda Griffin at the Chickasaw Emergency Management.
A view of the damage surrounding the intersection of County Roads 155 and 245. Image created by combining aerial photos from Linda Griffin of the Chickasaw Emergency Management, USGS NAIP imagery, and Google Earth.

Chapel Grove Community

The violent twister continued to the northeast, moving across 45-Alternate. Lynn Davis from Okolona, was described as a great friend, successful businessman, and a Christian who wanted to help others. He received a call that one of his plant managers had damage from a tornado earlier in the day. Lynn hitched up the trailer, jumped in his truck, and headed south on 45-Alternate to help his friend in need.

We interviewed Tim Beckett, who was friends with Lynn. He told us that as Lynn was traveling down the highway, he was talking with his buddy whom he was off to help. His last words uttered were, “That looks like a tornado.” A truck driver traveling behind Lynn said he saw the truck and trailer lift into the violent tornadic winds.

The tornado barrelled through the countryside and crossed into Monroe County at a half-mile wide. Situated approximately 2 miles east of 45-Alternate is the rural community known as Chapel Grove. Little was reported in news sources about the damage that occurred in this area. In our research, we found Pam Robbins, a resident of Pontotoc County, MS, who had images of the damage in this area posted on Facebook. Pam was kind enough to join us for an interview to share about the devastation at Chapel Grove.

On April 27, 2011, Pam was sitting at her home recovering from a medical condition watching the events unfold in her state. She knew she was limited but wanted to help in some capacity. Pam started asking people for donations, and they would load items into her truck. It took a few days to get word that she was allowed into the devastated area, but she headed south once she was given the green light. Her truck was loaded with 25 cases of water, articles of clothing, and other items. Pam commented that many supplies were going to Smithville but not to a lot of the outlying areas that were hit. Her initial destination was Wren. But before arriving in that community, she saw the destruction at Chapel Grove.

“I see people sitting in lawn chairs where their house used to be, and they’ve set up tents in their yard, and they’re standing on their property to protect what little they have left, that they can find in the debris.”

A man who lost his home cooking in the debris. Image from Pam Robbins.
A man and child in the ruins where a trailer once stood. Image from Pam Robbins.

Pam started handing out the gathered supplies to the residents. She asked one of them if the Red Cross or anyone else had been out to assess the damage. The resident replied that they had been out the day before, left them some water, and told them they would have to go to the Tupelo office to file the paperwork for assistance. They were told they couldn’t do anything for them if they didn’t have driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and proof of residency for everybody in the household.

Pam was concerned about the lack of help and went to talk to other residents. She said brick homes were just foundations and mobile homes were just debris. It was the same story from other residents; they could not get help without ID and proof they lived there. Pam met the pastor of Chapel Grove Missionary Baptist Church. They were just outside the tornado’s path and not damaged. The church was taking any and all donations and had everything organized in their fellowship hall.

One of the residents Pam talked to was a man who lived in a brick house with a concrete foundation. He was on his way home, rounding the curve about ¼ mile from his residence, when he saw the tornado. He had two adult sons who were home. The man had always told his sons that the best shelter was in the bathtub in the master bedroom. The sons stepped outside and saw the tornado hitting the mobile homes across the street. They dashed to the bathtub for safety. Their father, sitting ¼ mile away, watched in horror as the tornado slammed into his home with his children inside.

After the tornado passed, the man raced to where his home used to be. The only thing left on the foundation was the master bathroom tub. Ceramic tiling had been pulled off the floor of the concrete foundation. The boys survived. One had a 2×4 that was impaled in his thigh, and both had cuts due to flying debris. Pam recalled the man telling her that all that mattered was that his children survived; everything else could be replaced.

Pam then told us something surprising. She asked if we remembered the story about the gentleman driving on Highway 45-Alternate, whose truck was picked up by the tornado. She told us that the truck was discovered in the backyard of the man who watched the tornado hit his home with his sons inside. Pam stated that not only did this man find his children in the debris, but he also found Lynn in the pickup truck. News stories about Lynn Davis had documented that the truck was “thrown for miles.” We asked Pam how far away 45-Alternate is from the man’s home. She said, “as the crow flies, 2 miles.”

After making this trip and hearing the stories from the Chapel Grove community, Pam knew she had to do more. When she returned to her Pontotoc County home, she “hit social media hard.” When it was time for the second trip down to help, she took a 16-foot open car trailer loaded down with supplies and delivered them to Chapel Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Pam said these trips continued for weeks. She learned of a man from Columbus, MS, who was also bringing supplies, and the church was cooking every day, twice a day for the community.

This event had a huge impact on Pam. She lives in a mobile home and has a “storm house” built in the 1940s. Pam, even though claustrophobic, cleaned it up and made it shelter-ready. “It changed my life completely, and I wasn’t in it. It changed how I thought about being prepared for something like that. It was a very, very humbling experience.”

A horse grazing in the wreckage. Image from Pam Robbins.
Two views of some of the destroyed trailers. Images from Pam Robbins.
Two views of vegetation around the trailers. Images from Action and Communication Education Reform (ACER).

An Argument for an EF5 Rating

The damage left behind in Chapel Grove is incredible for several reasons. It is important to bear in mind here that, presumably, none of this was ever surveyed by the NWS. One particular feat of interest is the swept away home. We believe this is true EF5 damage for several reasons.

This was a sizable brick home. Based on photographs, we are very confident that this was a well-constructed residence with substantial bolting to the foundation. The similarly built sister home of this house next door was reduced to a pile of rubble. Even better photos of that home’s foundation show that it was extensively anchored with proper connections between sill plating and walls. It is still possible that some deficiencies in the structures are present that we cannot see in the photographs, but so far as we are aware, both residences were of good construction.

Beyond the anchoring aspect, the contextual damage at and around the swept away home is very intense. Most of the sill plating was torn out. The only large object left behind on the slab was the uprooted (presumably metal) master bathroom bathtub. This is actually what is seen in the EF Scale’s training manual photo of typical EF5 damage to a home. In addition, two people we interviewed both described that ceramic tiling was scoured from some of the foundation. The damage to low-lying shrubbery in front of the home is very impressive. The vegetation was denuded and partially debarked. Some moderate grass scouring appears to have passed along the eastern side of the home. Shredded vegetation was pushed under shattered pieces of bricks that were caught in broken fixture wiring on the slab. Based on satellite imagery, wheat in a field about 50 yards further behind the residence was apparently scoured along a concentrated swath.

A scene of likely EF5 damage. Note the damage to shrubbery in front of the home, and the mangled pickup truck behind it. We believe the pickup belonged to Lynn Davis.
At center, the remains of a large, well constructed brick home. Boxed at right is the foundation of the home that was swept away. Note the extreme damage to shrubbery in front of it. The narrow swath that slabbed that home also reduced other types of lower lying vegetation to debarked spikes, as seen in the right-center background. Image from Pam Robbins.
This is the example picture of EF5 housing damage from the NWS training manual. Note the similarities between this home and the one discussed above.
Two images showing the anchoring of the home next to the one swept away. Image from ACER.
Another view of the adjacent home. Image from John Moses.
February 6, 2012 Google Earth imagery showing the violent treefall patterns along Chapel Grove Road. The new homes at top right are located where the previous two residences mentioned were destroyed.

The most astonishing finding is that of Lynn Davis’ crushed pickup truck behind the swept away house. We can verify that it was hurled at least 3,000 yards (1.70 miles). To our knowledge, this is the farthest confirmed distance a vehicle has been thrown by a tornado. There have been rumors of vehicles being thrown further, but none of those have ever been verified. We know that Lynn started on US Highway 45-Alternate. He was on the phone with the person he was going to aid when he was hit. In addition, a trucker was located behind Lynn on the highway and saw him get picked up by the tornado. We received this information from two separate sources we interviewed, adding to the credibility. It would also not make any sense for him to travel on Chapel Grove Road because that would have taken him well away from where he was trying to go. There are no homes or streets between US Highway 45-Alternate and Chapel Grove Road, simply open farm fields with some shelterbelt lines of trees. We also know for sure from official records that Lynn Davis’ body was found in Monroe County. He was still inside his broken pickup truck behind the slab of the swept away house. The pickup was mangled, with much of the back crushed into the rest of the chassis. The details of where his truck was found are confirmed by multiple sources/eyewitnesses to the aftermath. Also, photographs show what we believe to be the vehicle.

A look at what was almost certainly the pickup truck. At least part of the back portion was crushed into the rest of the body. Lynn Davis’ body was found inside the vehicle. Image from Pam Robbins.
A map illustrating where the pickup truck started and ended. Image created with Google Earth imagery from September 29, 2010.
July 2013 Google Street View imagery on US Highway 45-Alternate. The view is looking east-northeast towards Chapel Grove.

Wren

The tornado left the Chapel Grove area behind and tore through several miles of forest. It gradually narrowed and weakened to a 500 yard (0.28 mile) wide high-end EF3. Several houses and mobile homes were struck along Smith Drive and Old Wren Road. Two small houses or manufactured residences disintegrated, a mobile home was thrown 50 yards, and a few other residences were damaged or destroyed.

Several narrow swaths of minor grass scouring in fields near US-highway 45 indicate the tornado may have become violent again. This was very short-lived, and it soon weakened to EF2 status. Three mobile homes and one house were destroyed off of Wren Cemetery Road. Two final residences were affected near US Highway 278. A home lost shingles, and a trailer was destroyed.

The destructive winds moved over uninhabited swampland. The twister weakened and narrowed, curving northeastward and crossing Highway 6 near the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. It dissipated 1.4 miles SE of Bigbee, ending a 53.77-mile track. Just one minute later, at 3:40 pm CDT, the storm produced another tornado, which would tear through the community of Smithville. Read our summary about that event here.

The path of the tornado through the Wren area. Image from Tim Beckett.

Statistics

In total, four people died, and 25 others were injured. 110 homes were destroyed, and another 115 were damaged. 41 mobile homes were destroyed, and another 22 were damaged. In Chickasaw County, an estimated 125,000 cubic yards of debris had to be removed. A professional paper analyzing the paths of debris thrown by the 2011 Super Outbreak tornadoes found light objects that traveled more than 180 miles from Chickasaw County.

Recovery

Federal assistance was slow to come to Chickasaw County. Per an article in the Daily Journal, The Chickasaw Board of Supervisors moved forward with clean-up using county resources and those from surrounding counties. “The county eventually qualified for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds with a grant of $548,980. When all bills were paid, the expense was $530,000.”

Most of the aid to the communities hard hit in Chickasaw and western Monroe Counties came from volunteers like Pam Robbins. Local teenagers assisted in the clean-up of debris at homes and on the roadways. Per the Chickasaw Journal, “Whether running chainsaws or delivering food and water to clean-up crews, teens got involved in helping their community.”

Antoinette Harrell of Gathering of Hearts was the subject of an article in researchrecordrestore.blogspot.com. She toured the damage around Okolona. “I saw people helping people. Churches and neighbors came to their rescue providing food and clothing. What is not surprising is that the community pointed out how people sometimes take the time away from themselves to tell you about their neighbor who is also in need of help.”

Help also came from thousands of miles away. A church in Yorba Linda, CA, donated clothing to Common Ground Christian Church in Wren. A man from Cincinnati, OH, made two trips in a 24-foot U-Haul truck filled with donated supplies. Tina Gregory, a Chickasaw County resident, told the Chickasaw Journal, “These wonderful men from a Baptist Church in Casper, Wyoming stopped by daddy’s Saturday and asked if they could help him cut up the trees that were down from the tornado. They used their own equipment and everything. Wouldn’t take a penny for their chainsaw. Is that not the sweetest thing?”

A year after the tornado, WCBI-TV interviewed some of the tornado victims. One of them was Mary Ruth Ellis, who had lost her home of 50 years in Okolona. She was able to find a few personal items in the rubble: a bible, a bookcase, and a photo album. Mary Ruth lived in a FEMA trailer for a few months on site where her home once stood. She had no insurance. The ministry Eight Day of Hope brought together volunteers from across the country, and within six months, Mary Ruth was in a new home. “Everything that the tornado took away, the Lord has replaced it and you can see….you can see what’s here is just beautiful.” She was provided furniture for every room, and several churches pitched in and got her a new car. And in her backyard, a new storm shelter.

In Loving Memory

Lynn Davis, 55 – Okolona
Cortez Townsend Isabell, age 24 – Houston
Bettye L. Watkins, age 56 – Houston
Bettye Lou Walker Plant, age 62 – Buena Vista

A Special Thanks

An enormous thank you to Tim Beckett, Pam Robbins, and John Moses for amazing interviews and sharing your stories and pictures with us. Thank you also to Jay Bullard, Linda Griffin, and Action Communication and Education Reform Inc. for permission to feature their photographs. NO images provided by these contributors are to be redistributed in any way without the explicit permission of the owners.

Video

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC and NCDC Databases, the April 2011 Storm Data Publication (SDP), the NWS Jackson and NWS Memphis Event Pages, and analysis of aerial and satellite imagery and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • The SPC/NCDC/SDP list a path length of 51.45 miles.
  • The NWS has a total path length of 52.4 miles.
  • Analysis of the damage indicates a path length of 53.77 miles.

    Path Width:

    • The SPC/NCDC/SDP/NWS Memphis list a maximum width of 1,320 yards (0.75 miles).
    • Analysis of the damage indicates a maximum width of 1,175 yards (0.67 miles).

      Fatalities:

      • The SPC/NCDC/SDP list four fatalities.
      • The NWS Memphis lists seven.
      • We found four specific named individuals who directly died due to the tornado.

        Injuries:

        • The SPC/NCDC/SDP list 25 injuries.
        • The NWS Memphis lists seven.

          Sources:

          The Storm Prediction Center

          April 2011 Storm Data Publication

          NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Webster County

          NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Calhoun County

          NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Chickasaw County

          NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Monroe County

          NWS Jackson Event Summary

          NWS Memphis Event Summary

          EF-Scale Training

          Google Earth

          Google Maps

          USGS

          Action Communication and Education Reform, Inc.

          Mississippi Emergency Management

          Linda Griffin – Chickasaw Emergency Management

          Chickasaw Journal

          WTVA-TV

          WCBI-TV

          Tim Beckett

          Jay Bullard

          John Moses

          Pam Robbins

          Elkins, C., 2013. OUR OPINION: Tornado recovery moves past biggest milestones. Daily Journal. https://www.djournal.com/opinion/our-opinion-tornado-recovery-moves-past-biggest-milestones/article_236c038e-d53c-5b50-99d8-7785b71f56fd.html

          Elkins, C., 2013. Chickasaw County completes tornado clean-up with no outstanding debts. Daily Journal. https://www.djournal.com/news/chickasaw-county-completes-tornado-clean-up-with-no-outstanding-debts/article_a722dee9-5fae-581f-92d3-1337a0984a6e.html

          Knox, J.A. et al., 2013. Tornado Debris Characteristics And Trajectories During The 27 April 2011 Super Outbreak As Determined Using Social Media Data. AMETSOC. https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/bams/94/9/bams-d-12-00036.1.xml

          One woman gathers other hearts to help Mississippi tornado victims. Research, Record, Restore. http://researchrecordrestore.blogspot.com/2011/06/one-woman-gathers-other-hearts-to-help.html

          Ponsi, L., 2011. O.C. pitches in to help tornado victims. Orange County Register. https://www.ocregister.com/2011/05/30/oc-pitches-in-to-help-tornado-victims/

          Questions or comments about this summary?  Contact us here!

          Join the tornado history discussion on our Discord Server!

          Note:  There are some images/videos in our summaries that were licensed to us to be used only on this website. If you would like to use an image/video in your project or blog, please contact us and we will grant permission if possible.

          Newspaper clips are embedded via newspapers.com.  Please see their terms and conditions.

          X