SPC Stats

Path length: 4.3 miles

Width:  880 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  5

Rating:  F3

County:  Montgomery

“It looked like somebody walked through with a broom and knocked over whatever was loose enough to knock down.”  This was a quote from the photo editor, Fred Dye of the Leaf-Chronicle.

What would turn out to be the busiest January on record for tornadoes continued on January 22, 1999.  43 tornadoes occurred on this day, and one of the strongest devastated Clarksville, TN.

It struck the town at 415am CT.  It moved a total of 4.3 miles through the downtown area and dissipated near Saint Bethlehem.  There were 5 injuries and no fatalities.

A 5-block area of downtown was destroyed.  22 buildings were severely damaged at Austin Peay State University.  The Montgomery County courthouse “was in ruins.”  The Leaf-Chronicle newspaper office was severely damaged.  Per the Storm Data Narrative, the newspaper set up a temporary office in Hopkinsville, KY.  Several old churches were damaged.  The Madison Street United Methodist Church lost its spires and roof.  The roof was torn off of the Trinity Episcopal Church.  A total of 124 buildings were destroyed, and 562 damaged.

Here is a note from the NWS Nashville Tornado Database about discrepancies found years later.  “SHAMBURGER (2015): NCDC incorrectly lists the path length, location and time of this tornado, which were corrected based on radar data and a GIS damage map created by Dr. McCluskey, Professor of Geography at Austin Peay State University.” The discrepancies in this path length is that SPC/NCDC has 4.3 miles, the “correct” length is 6 miles.”

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 36.53 / -87.35   End:  36.58 / -87.30     

Corrected coordinates based on NWS Nashville Tornado Database:

Start: 36.51 / -87.37    End 36.59 / -87.31.

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

Radar and Damage Photos via NWS Nashville

Radar loop via NWS Nashville Summary of the tornado moving through Clarksville.

Damage Photo Via FEMA

Jackson, Tenn., 1/25/99 -- Aerial of tornado damage to the city. Photo by: Mannie Garcia - Jan 24, 1999 - Location: Jackson, TN (NOTE: This is the original caption from FEMA. This photo is not from Jackson but from this Clarksville, TN tornado. Thank you to Sam Shamburger of the NWS Nashville for the correction!

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