Path length: 14.4 miles
Width: 500 yards
Seven tornadoes were confirmed on February 23, 1975, across parts of the south. This summary looks at a significant tornado, given an F4 rating, that crossed through parts of Tuscaloosa County, AL. Per the NWS Storm Data Narrative, the tornado developed at Taylorville. The SPC coordinates show a start point SW of this area. It moved to the NNE with a skipping path ending near Holt. The narrative denotes the tornado touched the ground five times.
There was heavy damage south of Tuscaloosa; several homes were leveled. In the SE part of the city, significant damage occurred at the intersection of I-59 and McFarland Blvd. A new Scottish Inn Motel was destroyed. 23-year-old housekeeper Thelma Hill was killed when most of the second floor of the motel was sheared away by the tornado causing a wall to fall on her. (Murray, alabamawx.com).
There was heavy damage to a nearby restaurant and several other commercial buildings. In the Holt area, about 30 homes were destroyed. Falling trees damaged several other houses.
Over the entire path, 30 buildings, 11 mobile homes, and one business were destroyed. 259 buildings, 25 businesses, 10 mobile homes, and 200+ vehicles had heavy damage.
The SPC lists 49 injuries. The Storm Data Narrative and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes list 51 injuries.
We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the June 1975 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:
- SPC/NCDC have a 14.4 mile path.
- Grazulis and Storm Data list a 15 mile path.
- SPC/NCDC list 49 injuries.
- Grauzlis and Storm Data have 51 injuries.
- SPC/NCDC have a start time at 1345.
- Grauzlis and Storm Data have a start time of 1235.
Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1172.