Path length: 16 miles

Width:  500 yards

Fatalities:  6

Injuries:  106

Rating:  F4

County:  Madison

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 35.58 / -88.88   End:  35.63 / -88.68     

Corrected Coordinates based on Storm Data:

Start:  35.540159/-88.855037      End: 35.690270/-88.625629 

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


Twenty-two tornadoes were confirmed on January 17, 1999. They encompassed the states of Arkanasas, Mississippi and Tennessee.  The strongest were in TN with 2-F3s reported and the strongest and deadliest, an F4 that moved through parts of Madison County and the town of Jackson.

The tornado formed east of Bemis and tracked NE for 16 miles.  It trekked through the southern part of Jackson. The Hollywood Shopping Center had severe damage.  A funeral home near it was demolished except for interior rooms.  200+ homes were destroyed and 300 more had lesser damage.  One of the hardest hit subdivisions was Orchard Hill. 

The building that houses school buses for the county was destroyed. 55 school buses were damaged.  A high school baseball stadium was destroyed and the football stadium was damaged.  There were over 100 injuries and six fatalities.

Ann Snider died at the Peoples Chapel Church on Grove Avenue. Bill Cantrell died in his trailer just down the road from the church.

Linda Woodfin and her 9-year-old daughter Jessica were killed in their home in the Orchard Hill Subdivision.  A bus was thrown into their home. Linda’s 5-year-old son Billy survived.

81-year-old Lura Dorris a member of First Baptist Church Jackson died from injuries sustained when the tornado hit her home.

Terry Thomas, age 43, also died of injuries sustained when the tornado hit his home.

Images from the January 1999 Storm Data Publication

From Storm Data: An aerial view of a Jackson-Madison County school bus that was tossed about 300 yards from its bus barn. (Photograph courtesy of Robert Cohen, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN.
All that remains of a funeral home in Jackson, TN is the ground floor restrooms. This photograph shows the importance of being in the lowest room in the center of a building during a tornado. (Photograph courtesy of the National Weather Service, Memphis, TN).

Damage Photos from FEMA

The Dial family and friends search for memorable remnants of their lives. Their home was destroyed while (father) Robert, (wife) Michele, (mother) Ernestine and (daughter) Andrea clung to each other in the hallway. Photo by Lynne Keating - Jan 18, 1999 - Location: TN
Tenn.Remains of approximately twenty homes in a subdivision where approximately sixty-seven homes were destroyed. Photo by Lynne Keating - Jan 18, 1999 - Location: TN

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Newspaper Clippings

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