National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce



Smith/Jasper/Clarke/Choctaw AL/Sumter AL/Marengo AL/Perry AL Counties Tornado


Event Summary

This tornado started by downing some trees just southeast of Raleigh, near and across Highway 18. As the tornado moved northeast along Bailey Road and crossed County Road 130, it intensified and produced high end EF-1 damage, snapping and uprooting trees, taking shingles off roofs, and blowing skirting out from mobile homes. The tornado continued to strengthen as it moved northeast, and along County Roads 136, 107, and 105, it produced damage indicative of high end EF-2. A few mobile homes were destroyed and several homes and buildings sustained significant roof damage, along with extensive tree damage. Along County Road 105, a mobile home was picked up by the tornado, bounced along the ground a couple of times, and was then thrown into woods across the road, with debris scattered for at least a mile downstream, including the frame of the mobile home. The occupant of the mobile home was the first fatality of this tornado. The tornado continued northeast, and reached its most intense and widest point in the Smith County portion of the tornado just before crossing the county line at County Road 103. Here, in the central core of the tornado there was an area of completely mowed down pine trees in which everyone was snapped and many were denuded, and two frame homes had the roofs and exterior walls completely destroyed with extensive damage to interior walls. In addition, many power poles were snapped, a mobile home was annihilated, and a large shop building was completely destroyed. The damage here was rated high end EF-3 with maximum estimated winds of 160 mph.

Estimated Maximum Wind:
175 mph
7 fatalities/17 injuries
Damage Path Length:
122 miles
Maximum Path Width:
6/10 mile
Approximate Start Point/Time:

1 ESE Raleigh

Approximate End Point/Time:
3 NNE Uniontown

The tornado remained intense as it crossed into Jasper County and moved across County Road 13, causing very impressive tree damage with nearly every pine tree snapped and extensive evidence of denuding and debarking. Power poles were also snapped. The tornado produced similar type damage as it crossed County Road 16. The tornado then produced its first area of EF-4 damage just northwest of Louin along County Road 164. Here, the tornado struck an area with several mobile homes and one frame home. The frame home was completely destroyed, with most interior walls down and some of the foundation pushed clean. Several mobile homes in the area, including two double wides which the residents said were well strapped down, were completely destroyed with the debris and frames blown great distances. In fact, all of the debris was so dispersed and mixed that it was impossible for the surveyors to reconstruct the positions of the mobile homes and house without explanations from the residents. Two people were killed in a mobile home at this spot; however, several other people abandoned their mobile homes after hearing warnings to shelter in a nearby brick home, and were certainly saved from serious injury or death.

After crossing Highway 15, the tornado caused significant damage to a poultry farm and cattle ranch before it weakened and narrowed slightly. As it crossed County Road 23, it produced EF-2 damage, destroying two mobile homes and causing extensive tree and powerline damage. The tornado then produced a relatively narrow path of EF-1 tree and powerline damage for several miles, until reintensifying near Rose Hill. As the tornado crossed Highway 18 southeast of Rose Hill, it removed most of the roof of a frame home and caused heavy damage to the exterior walls, took a large section of roof off another frame home, completely destroyed a large tied down mobile home, and caused extensive tree damage. This damage was rated at the low end of EF-3. After causing this damage, the tornado weakened again, causing mainly EF-1 type tree damage until it reached the Clarke County line, with the last point inside the county line on County Road 22 rated as EF-0, with just a few trees and limbs down.

The tornado then continued into Clarke County and reintensified somewhat, causing tree and powerline damage as it crossed Interstate 59 and US Highway 11. The tornado then became much more intense as it moved along the south side of the town of Enterprise. A number of homes and mobile homes were heavily damaged or destroyed along County Road 320 and State Highway 513. This damage was rated as high EF-2 to low end EF-3. As the tornado passed along a two mile stretch of State Highway 519 east of Enterprise, it heavily damaged several frame homes and caused extensive tree damage. One spot here was the other area of EF-4 damage produced by this tornado. A new construction frame home was completely leveled with the debris swept off the foundation. Residents in the area reported that the house was nearly completed. Based on these reports and the extent of other nearby, primarily tree, damage, this damage is being preliminarily rated as EF-4 with maximum winds of 175 mph, but additional investigation will be done regarding this area. Other damage in this general area was rated as high end EF-2 or low end EF-3.

The tornado weakened slightly again as it crossed US Highway 45 and State Highway 145, and then caused high end EF-2 and low end EF-3 damage at County Roads 456 and 457. Here, several strapped down double wide mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn over long distances. Nearby residents reported that one of the mobile homes was occupied by 11 persons as the time of the tornado, and that this was the location where 4 people were killed. Another resident of a nearby mobile home was critically injured. From here, the tornado passed east northeast, just north of the Energy and Snell communities, causing EF-2 damage to a number of frame homes along with extensive tree and powerline damage. The tornado crossed Highway 514 northeast of Snell, still causing extensive tree damage and significant roof damage to several large frame homes, before moving across the state line into Choctaw County, AL.