National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Ohatchee/Wellington/Piedmont EF-3 Tornado
(Calhoun & Cherokee Counties)
  March 25, 2021


Event Summary

Estimated Maximum Wind:
140 mph
6 Fatalities / 10 Injuries
Damage Path Length:
38.44 miles
Maximum Path Width:
1700 yards
Approximate Start Point/Time:
4 SE Ragland
at 2:31 pm CDT
Approximate End Point/Time:
1 W Pleasant Gap
at 3:27 pm CDT


National Weather Service meteorologists surveyed the damage in northern Calhoun County northeastward into southern Cherokee County and determined it was the result of an EF-3 tornado.

The tornado first touched down on Boiling Springs Road snapping and uprooting trees just north of Mitchellville Road. The tornado widened as it moved northeast damaging structures along Boiling Springs Road, downing trees and power lines. A double wide mobile home was demolished on Simpson Bend Road. The tornado then produced extensive damage in the Macon community, destroying numerous mobile homes with moderate to major damage to several site built homes. In this area, tree damage was also extensive with numerous hardwoods snapped near the base along Ragan Chapel Road.

As the tornado approached Highway 77, it reached its maximum intensity and was likely multi-vortex in nature based on the damage pattern. Here, a large swath of trees were snapped. A large factory, Precision Materials, sustained major damage. The entire structure and supporting frame of this large well built metal building was collapsed and bent inward. The owner was on-site during the first inspection of this building and said they received the Tornado Warning and moved all 22 employees into a safe shelter in the interior of the building before the tornado hit. None of the occupants were injured. A large tractor trailer at this location was also partially lofted and then dragged 60 feet. The damage at this location was rated EF-3 / 140 mph.

The tornado crossed CR 77, with damage to several homes along Ragans Chapel Road. At least two homes sustained significant damage with most of their roof removed and windows blown out. A large farm building was also demolished. Ragans Chapel UMC, a structure dating back to the late 1800s, sustained major damage with most walls collapsed. One occupant sheltered in an interior bathroom and was uninjured. The caretaker’s home behind the church sustained major damage.

Along Mudd Street, several mobile homes were completely destroyed. A fatality occurred in one unanchored tiny home when the structure completely collapsed. Additional site built homes in the area from Mudd Street to Lost Creek Road sustained significant damage. The tornado continued northeast over mainly forested areas snapping and uprooting large swaths of trees. A wide expanse of damage was noted from Dark Hollow Road and Boiling Springs Road. Here many power lines were downed and poles snapped. Several site built homes sustained roof and structural damage, farm buildings and sheds were destroyed, and a mobile home was completely destroyed.

Significant damage was noted along Ingram Wells Road and Grayton Road South. Along Ingram Wells Road several homes were damaged and outbuildings destroyed. Along Grayton Road several mobile homes were destroyed with the undercarriages and contents blown well downstream. A doublewide also sustained significant damage. Three fatalities were noted in this vicinity along with multiple significant injuries. A wide swath of tree damage continued along Grayton Road South and Mountain View Road.

The tornado then moved into the Wellington community as it crossed US Highway 431. Here several site built homes sustained moderate damage with partial loss of roof structures. Many power poles were also snapped along with damage to a convenience store. Significant damage was noted along Joe Martin Drive and Wellington Road. One site built home sustained collapse of most walls and cars were tossed here. Six occupants sheltered safely in an interior closet. Additional homes sustained roof damage with one moved well off it’s foundation. Several mobile homes were completely destroyed. One occupant was killed near Mangum Road, but 13 others survived after sheltering in a family storm pit.

A wide swath of damage continued from East Wellington into Pleasant Valley with mobile homes destroyed along Old Sulphur Springs Road and site built homes with roof and structural damage. Trees were snapped and uprooted along CR 204 along with damage to structures. Chicken houses were destroyed along Pleasant Valley Road, along with substantial damage to a church and business along Angel Drive. The tornado continued northeastward where additional damage was observed along Nisbet Lake Rd, Dogwood Ln, and Charlie Penny Rd. This was mostly timber damage where the tornado uprooted and snapped hundreds of trees. Varying degrees of minor structure damage was observed here as well. Farther northeast, the tornado moved toward New Liberty and Roy Webb Rd where damage was sustained at Learning Tree. The tornado continued northeast crossing Old Piedmont Gadsden Hwy and US Hwy 278. Several swaths of timber damage was observed throughout these areas as well as minor damage to a few homes. The tornado then continued into far southern Cherokee County where it began to shows signs of weakening as damage observations became more sporadic and minor in nature. The last observable point of damage along this 38 mile path was near Spring Garden High School.


Radar Image
Reflectivity (left) and velocity (right) of the circulation as the tornado was crossing Hwy 77.
Images are from KBMX at 2:38 pm CDT.


Damage Photo
 Structure Destroyed
Damage Photo
 Manufactured Home Destroyed
Damage Photo
 Manufactured Home Destroyed
Damage Photo
 Manufactured Home Destroyed
Damage Photo
 Home Shifted

Damage Photo
 Home Destroyed

Damage Photo
 Home Destroyed
Damage Photo
 Manufactured Home Destroyed


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