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12aprAll DayFort Oglethorpe (Catoosa Couty, GA) / Chattanooga (Hamilton/Bradley Counties, TN)

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Start Time: 11:15 pm EDT 

End Time:  11:33 pm EDT

Rating:  EF3

Estimated Peak Winds:  145 mph

Path length: 20 miles

Width: 1500 yards

Fatalities:  3

Injuries:  19

County:  Catoosa (GA), Hamilton, Bradley (TN)

State:  Georgia, Tennessee

Start Lat/Lon:  34.9407 / -85.2582

End Lat/Lon:  35.1040 / -84.9816


From NWS Peachtree City: The weak tornado (initially) was embedded within very strong thunderstorm winds (QLCS) that was tracking quickly east-northeast. Ground surveys and radar data suggest it touched down on the south side of Fort Oglethorpe, near the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, snapping several trees near the intersection of Post Road and Lafayette Road. The tornado strengthened quickly as it approached the industrial area of town, along Battlefield Parkway (Hwy 2) with several businesses sustaining structural damage, including a metal building structure (MBS) along Howard Drive completely losing an exterior (side) wall and part of its roof. It was in this area that a weather station at the Ft. Oglethorpe Public Works Department measured an unconfirmed wind gust of 106 MPH (EF-1 winds). The tornado then skipped to the northeast, snapping or uprooting small areas of trees with a few homes sustaining mainly roof/siding damage, from Park Forrest Drive to several side streets off of Hwy 146 (Cloud Springs Road), to Carrol and Karen Drive. The tornado crossed I-75 along Scruggs Road, then crossed the Tennessee/Georgia state-line somewhere between Scruggs Road and GA-Hwy 41 (Ringgold Rd in Tennessee). 

From NWS Morristown:  As the tornado crossed the state line, it quickly moved across the Harris Hills area where some trees were uprooted. It then continued towards East Brainerd Road and Stratman Circle where an auto parts store was completely leveled and nearby structures had significant roof damage done. The tornado then struck the end of a large shopping building where a restaurant was located. The restaurant facade was destroyed and the roof was peeled back. This is where the tornado picked up strength and was near its peak intensity. It continued northeast into the Drake Forest neighborhood where extensive structure, roof, and tree damage was noted. There were likely pockets of EF-3 damage here, as well. The tornado damage path really widened as it moved northeast into the Holly Hills neighborhood. This was likely the widest part of the tornado. Nearly as far as you could see to the southeast, tree trunks were snapped and significant home damage was noted. Some areas were blocked by tree debris and fallen power poles as well as large clean up machinery which limited easy access to some areas. Additional damage was found in Ooltewah near the Summit Softball Complex and particularly the significant roof damage to several units/buildings of the Integra Hills Preserve Apartments. The tornado weakened as it crossed South Lee Highway and eventually dissipated in southwestern Bradley County.


Sources:

Public Information Statement – NWS Morristown

Public Information Statement – NWS Peachtree City

Damage Assessment Toolkit


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