The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 22, 2014

UPDATE: EF1 tornado caused county damage

By Budd McLaughlin

— An EF1 tornado that touched down at the Lucy’s Branch Marina was responsible for damaged homes and vehicles during Thursday night’s storms.

The tornado, which had a peak speed of 105 mph, also snapped trees, utility poles along a more-than 4-mile, quarter-mile wide path before lifting across the Elk River near Lakeside Estates Road, a National Weather Service survey of the area reported.

The weather service also said an EF1 tornado touched down along Section Line Road in the Cartwright community.

No injuries were reported in Limestone County during the severe weather. A child was hurt when an EF1 tornado damaged several homes in the Anderson community of Lauderdale County.

The Bay Hill tornado began at 8:56 p.m. on Bay Hill Drive, the weather service said at the marina on the northern end of the Tennessee River in Limestone County. The marina sustained minor damage and several of the condos and homes had minor structural damage while several trees were snapped and uprooted.

Utility poles were also snapped along Snake Road as the tornado strengthened to EF1 intensity of 105 mph, the report said.

The tornado continued to move northeast, snapping trees and utility poles as it crossed Wright Road.

A manufactured home was damaged along Wright Road just south of U.S. 72 and a utility building was also destroyed. There was also minor damage to the athletic fields at Clements High School.

Homes were damaged along Allison Loop Road and Cox Road, the weather service said, mainly minor roof uplift and loss of shingles.

The tornado continued to move northeast and crossed Blue Springs Road. A large number of hardwood trees were snapped at the base and power poles were also snapped near the ground.

Several homes were damaged when the trees fell on top of the homes and a car was also crunched.

The tornado then crossed the Elk River and uprooted trees along Curtis Road before lifting around 9 p.m. 

About five minutes later, the weather service said, a tornado touched down along Section Line road just east of Alabama 99 in the Cartwright community.

Moving east, the tornado strengthened, snapping hardwood trees and utility poles along Harris Loop Road as winds reached 100 mph.

A home along Section Line Road had its roof lifted slightly while losing shingles.

The survey said the tornado damaged trees along Easter Ferry Road and Davis Lane before lifting along the hilltops just west of Witty Mills Road. The tornado traveled nearly 3 miles and was 500 yards wide.