National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Survey Summary

A National Weather Service damage survey crew, in cooperation with representatives from the National Park Service, conducted an assessment of damage from Friday's severe weather event across DeKalb County. Based on the ground survey conducted, it was determined that an F0 tornado touched down approximately 5 miles east southeast of Fort Payne in the higher elevations (around 1220 feet) of the Little River Canyon Wildlife Management Area. Winds were estimated at 70 miles per hour.

Near the intersection of Hurricane Creek and Little River in far eastern DeKalb County, a tornado touched down in the forested region of the Wildlife Management Area. Numerous large trees were either uprooted or broken off in this area. The path length in this area was estimated at 200 yards with a damage width of 60 yards. However, this damage occurred in a thickly forested region and the exact length of the damage is uncertain. Based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado touched down at around 6:59 P.M.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for DeKalb County at 6:10 P.M. and upgraded to a Tornado Warning at 6:49 P.M., and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was also in effect for the area. In addition, this same storm produced damage in neighboring Cherokee County per information received from the National Weather Service in Birmingham. We would like to thank the National Park Service at the Little River Canyon National Preserve for their assistance in this survey.

Storm Pictures and Images
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image.
88D Reflectivity w/ Hook Echo signature 88d Velocity Image showing inbound/outbound
The reflectivity image from the KHTX radar at 7:01pm CDT on 4/22 shows a hook echo (the area where the brighter, higher reflectivity values hook around the lower values) east of Fort Payne on the DeKalb/Cherokee county line.
The doppler velocity image from the KHTX radar at the same time, showing a distinct inbound-outbound velocity couplet over the same location. These couplets indicate strong rotation and often a tornado.
Storm damage near Riverton Storm damage near Riverton
Uprooted trees in the Little River Wildlife Management Area east of Fort Payne and north of Alabama Highway 35.
More snapped and uprooted trees in the Little River WMA.
Tornado damage along County Road 6 Tornado damage of mobile home and water from flooding
More tree damage in eastern DeKalb County.
Tree damage near the confluence of Hurricane Creek and the Little River.