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Severe Severe Threat Jan 11-13 2023

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.Tornado #7 Old Kingston-Lake Martin Tornado (Autauga, Elmore,
Coosa, Tallapoosa, and Chambers Counties)...

Rating: EF3
Estimated Peak Wind: 150 mph
Path Length /statute/: 76.67 miles
Path Width /maximum/: 1500 yards
Fatalities: 7
Injuries: 16

Start Date: 01/12/2023
Start Time: 12:48 PM CST
Start Location: 2 ESE Vida Junction / Autauga County / AL
Start Lat/Lon: 32.5565 / -86.646

End Date: 01/12/2023
End Time: 02:08 PM CST
End Location: 1 E Penton / Chambers County / AL
End Lat/Lon: 33.0069 / -85.4552

Survey Summary:
This long-track tornado began just east of U.S. Highway 82, where
a manufactured home was rolled along Autauga County Road 40. Over
the next two miles, the tornado rapidly strengthened as it
approached the Old Kingston community, where EF-3 damage began
along County Road 43. At this location, at least three
manufactured homes were obliterated with their frames thrown up to
100 yards. A pickup truck was sent airborne and landed 120 yards
to the northeast, where a shallow crater was formed by its impact.
The tornado became deadly as it impacted several homes along Sandy
Ridge Road. The frame of a manufactured home at the western end of
the road was thrown 250 yards to the north-northeast and came to
rest in a field. Just downstream, several manufactured homes in a
cluster were shredded and thrown considerable distances. Trees
were snapped off relatively close to the ground and partially
debarked. In total, five fatalities occurred along Sandy Ridge
Road at three separate residences. Similar damage continued to the
northeast along County Road 140, where a total of two fatalities
occurred in two separate residences at the eastern end of the
road. At least five manufactured homes were blown away with their
frames thrown considerable distances. Several vehicles were picked
up and thrown, and one pickup truck had its cab separated from the
bed. From this area to the northeast to County Rd 42, the tornado
caused massive tree damage and what appeared to be stands of
debarked trees along Autauga Creek. In the three mile stretch of
most severe damage from County Road 43 to County Road 42, wind
speeds reached at least 150 mph. Based on the damage scene and
contextual evidence, it is plausible that winds were stronger.
However, with only manufactured homes in the path, there appear to
be no damage indicators that will allow a higher rating. The
tornado moved across County Road 57 at a slightly weaker state,
where numerous trees were snapped and uprooted with several homes
sustaining significant roof damage with one site-built home also
sustaining partial wall failure.

The tornado crossed Interstate 65 where trees were downed. In the
Pine Level community, several homes sustained roof damage and a
manufactured home was rolled off its foundation and onto County
Road 68 E. Many trees were uprooted and snapped as the tornado
crossed through the Pine Flat community. Additional homes
sustained roof damage and other damage from fallen trees, and a
manufactured home was rolled and destroyed. Residential structure
damage intensified as the tornado neared the Autauga/Elmore county
line where site-built homes sustained majority or entire roof
removal along County Road 68 E near Poplar Springs Road. Similar
residential structure damage was observed in northwest Elmore
County as the tornado neared areas west of the Coosa River. The
tornado then crossed the Coosa River, affecting Neely Road on the
west bank and Kelly Road on the east bank, as well as nearby
roads. As the tornado crossed Grays Ferry Road on the northeast
side of Titus, the volume of snapped pine trees increased notably.
Countless trees were snapped and uprooted as the tornado moved
northeastward toward the Elmore/Coosa county line at Highway 231.
Structural damage continued to consist of roof uplift or removal
and damage from wind-blown debris and fallen trees. Radar showed a
debris ball in southern Coosa County which match ground
observation of a truly extensive area of snapped pine trees at and
on either side (downstream and upstream) of the southern portion
of McKissick Road, located between the communities Speed and
Equality. The volume of snapped trees was enough to assign an EF-3
rating for this segment of the tornado`s path. Additional
significant damage occurred along County Road 18 where vehicles
were moved or flipped, numerous trees were snapped, and site-built
homes were heavily damaged with one destroyed. This was another
area assigned EF-3 intensity. The tornado continued northeastward
toward the Coosa/Tallapoosa county line where additional,
relatively less intense timber damage was noted.

Tornado damage continued into Tallapoosa County with a corridor of
timber damaged observed along Cedar Creek and Elkahatchee Roads.
Timber was snapped and uprooted and consistent with EF-1 damage
here. The tornado continued northeast crossing Highway 63 S
approaching the Wind Creek State Park area. Timber damage was
observed here. The tornado then moved toward Coven Abbett Road and
then Elbert Road. Several homes sustained damage here, some
significant with roofs blown off, boat houses destroyed, and
adjacent significant timber damage as dozens of large hardwood
trees were snapped and uprooted. Areas impacted near here were
Elbert Drive, Loblolly Lane, and Elbert Rd. The tornado then
crossed the northern section of Lake Martin before impacting
additional lakefront homes. Numerous homes were damaged on River
Run Road and the adjacent side streets. Some homes sustained
significant damage with entire roofs blown away and exterior walls
collapsed or removed. At least two home were shifted from their
foundation. The high-end EF-2 damage here could be partly due to
the interaction of the tornado with the lake surface, as well as
the exposed nature of these homes since most structures inland
seemed to be "sheltered" from adjacent heavily wooded areas. The
tornado also damaged homes along Lake Ridge Drive. The tornado
continued northeast causing pockets of EF-1 timber damage as it
crossed US Highway 280. The tornado then moved across the rest of
Tallapoosa County causing mainly varying degrees of timber damage
in the EF-0 to EF-1 range, including the Sessions area. The
tornado continued northeast into Chambers County causing
additional swaths of mainly timber damage in the EF-0 to EF-1
range. The tornado began its final weakening stage as it neared
Highway 77, dissipating shortly after crossing County Road 114.
 
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