SPC Stats

Path length: 14.4 miles

Width:  500 yards

Fatalities: 1

Injuries:  49

Rating:  F4

County:  Tuscaloosa

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.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 33.08 / -87.60   End:  33.25 / -87.45      

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

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

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:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 14.4 mile path.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data list a 15 mile path.

Injury Count:

  • SPC/NCDC list 49 injuries.
  • Grauzlis and Storm Data have 51 injuries.

Start Time: 

  • SPC/NCDC have a start time at 1345.
  • Grauzlis and Storm Data have a start time of 1235.

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    June 1975 Storm Data Publication

    Alabama WX Weather Blog

    newspapers.com

    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.

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