National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Ensley - Tarrant F-2 Tornado
Jefferson County
November 18, 1957



Estimated Maximum Wind:
35 Injuries / 1 Fatality
Damage Path Length:
8.2 miles
Maximum Path Width:
100 yards
Approximate Start Point/Time:
Ensley 330 pm
Approximate End Point/Time:



"'We're just thankful we got out alive.'"

"'That was the unanimous feeling of survivors in the hard-hit 2700 block of Ave D in Ensley.'"   Gerious Hyche was the only fatality of the F2 tornado that struck the Ensley area when his corner house on 2723 Ave D collapsed (see pictures below).   Six of his children, who were also inside the house, escaped with minor injuries.

Home of Gerious Hyche Home of Gerious Hyche Survivors
2723 Ave D
Photo by Tommy Langston
Click for larger image.
2723 Ave D
Photo by Post-Herald
Click for larger image.
Ave D Survivors
Photos by Ronnie Council
Click for larger image.


At the house next door, Odie Hall and his 10 year old grandson where watching TV when the twister struck the rear of his home. "'If we'd been in the back room, we would have been killed,' Hall said.   The back of his house was flattened."   Several other homes in the Ensley area received damage.   "Dozens of trees in the area were snapped off or uprooted.   Several were blown on houses, trapping occupants inside.   Streets were cluttered with power lines, signs and parts of trees.   Many streets were blocked by fallen trees.   Several large stores were heavily damaged.   At the intersection of Avenue G and 20th street, a store, a church, a service station and a house were heavily damaged.   The rear corner of the A&P Supermarket was torn out, exposing the storage room.   Across the street, a house was broken into thousands of pieces.   A service station next to the house was destroyed and merchandise was blown away.   A Kroger Store lost a large portion of its roof.   Electric power and telephone service was knocked out from Ave S to Lloyd Noland Hospital.   The hospital was forced to operate on an emergency power unit."   While several houses and the one fatality occured at Ave D, the heaviest damage in Ensley was concentrated around the Ave I and H and 14th and 17th streets (see pictures below).

...Above quotes were taken from The Birmingham Post-Herald
Birmingham, Alabama
November 18, 1957.

A&P Super Market Man sorting debris
House damaged Car and House
Overturned car

After touching down in Ensley, the tornado proceded Northeast through the Pratt area and North Birmingham and eventually into Tarrant. Many homes between 22nd and 24th streets on 35th and 36th Avenues North were damaged with numerous large trees down around the area. The Birmingham Airport reported winds of 69 mph and sited the funnel just to the northwest. Damage in Tarrant was mainly to the industrial area.

Red Cross Helps Survivor Survivors
Damage in Tarrant Air lifted Damage Path

All photos are credited to the Birmingham Post-Herald, unless otherwise noted.

November 17th and 18th were very active across the entire state of Alabama. An additional 13 tornadoes were reported statewide with several injuries and fatalities. Major damage was reported in Walker, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Blount and Marshall Counties.


Michael Garrison