Hattiesburg tornado ranked EF-4 - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Hattiesburg tornado ranked EF-4

Posted: Updated: Feb 11, 2013 10:22 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The National Weather Service-Jackson has been busy, without a break, set out to find the damage of an EF-4 tornado with winds between 160-170 mph. The survey team is the "Sherlock Holmes" of weather. The team considers the type of damage they find plus recorded radar data to determine the strength and track of the tornado.

The storm initially started in southeast Louisiana and moved into southern Mississippi and that's where the first tornado from this storm touched down. The first is ranked an EF-2 according to the damage.

"There were several homes and mobile homes that sustained either significant damage to the roof or in this case there were 2-3 mobile homes that were completely destroyed." Said Meteorologist Chad Entremont with NWS-Jackson.

The first tornado's path was roughly 13 miles long but then the stormed picked up its tornado for a short time. As it approached Hattiesburg, radar began to indicate an extremely dangerous situation was occurring because not only did the storm form an "eye" feature but debris was also being detected.

"That area around Hattiesburg is quite far from the radar, so to throw debris up to around 6,000 to 10,000 feet is pretty substantial...we actually saw debris up to about 16 thousand feet." Said Chad.

The debris being detected was coming from the community of Oak Grove, Mississippi and that's where the survey team found evidence of an EF-4 tornado.

"I know around the Oak Grove High School some of the buildings around there were totally destroyed and those were very large metal buildings."

Although the tornado was destructive, it was not fatal. Approximately 82 people went to the hospital, but with no deaths the NWS-Jackson considers their coverage a success.

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