Start Time: 12:39 am CST End Time:
Start Time: 12:39 am CST
End Time: 12:49 am CST
Estimated Peak Winds: 100 mph
Path length: 6.14 miles
Width: 400 yards
Start Lat/Lon: 31.773 / -94.2021
End Lat/Lon: 31.811 / -94.109
This tornado began just to the west of Highway 7 on the southwest edge of Center and continued on an east-northeast path for roughly 6 miles. The tornado cut through a few neighborhoods on the south side of Center, so it was fortunate the tornado’s estimated winds mainly remained less than 100 mph through this portion of the path. However, scores of trees were uprooted or had their trunks snapped across the path through town, resulting in roof and structural damage to many homes as trees fell upon them. The worst example of this was probably in the Lakewood Subdivision just off of Highway 7. Here, one minor injury occurred as a fallen large pine tree heavily compromised the roof structure of a residence. In addition, a handful of residences farther east, along Ballard Street, sustained significant damage from falling trees.
Continuing east, there was also damage to residences from falling trees in the vicinity of Martin Luther King Drive, although here a few residences also sustained minor structural roof damage due to winds alone. On Loop 500 E, on the southeast side of the town, there was additional structural damage due mainly to wind, although a few of the compromised structures were likely vacant and already in a heavy state of disrepair before the tornado.
From there, the tornado continued into much more rural areas on the eastern outskirts of Center, doing scattered tree and very low-end structural damage, that is until coming to County Road 3047. Here, a majority of chicken houses set up in an array had some roof paneling removed with a few of the houses having most roof paneling removed and some associated damage to the fundamental structure. The damage at this point was likely the most impressive concentrated damage of the tornado. Interestingly, the tornado lifted shortly after doing this point.
Most of the trees in the path were blown down to the north or north-northeast, while most random trees found blown down outside of the path fell in more of an east to east-southeast direction. This damage pattern behavior is generally typical of weak and fast-moving tornadoes that accomplish most of damage on their south flanks.