The National Weather Service in Huntsville, along with the DeKalb County emergency management agency… conducted a storm and ground survey of damage around the Fort Payne area that resulted from a line of severe thunderstorms just after midnight Friday morning.
Detailed information from from the actual survey is below.
Fort Payne tornado…Rating: EF-2
estimated peak wind: 125 mph
path length /statute/: 0.8 miles
path width /maximum/: 50 yards
fatalities: 0 — injuries: 1
Start date: Feb 21 2014 — start time: 12:28 am CST
start location: 4 NNE of Fort Payne /gault Ave./ — Start lat/lon: 34.4941 / -85.6754
End date: Feb 21 2014 — end time: 12:31 am CST
end location: 5 NE of Fort Payne /Martin Ave./ — End lat/lon: 34.4994 / -85.6624
A brief but strong tornado touched down at the jet polymer plant off Gault Avenue about 4 miles north-northeast of the town of Fort Payne in central DeKalb County.
The tornado flipped 3 large tractor trailers, one of which was vaulted into the air… Landing on top of the plant’s roof. Adjacent the plant… across a parking lot… a medium-sized metal building structure had much of its metal siding removed and roof uplifted.Also… the column Anchorage was severely bent and failed. The tornado continued its track northeast… snapping and uprooting medium to large-sized trees.
Beyond this point… the tornado appeared to skip along its track (little to no damage seen) before doing significant structural damage to several homes along Green Valley Circle. Two single-family well constructed residences sustained a complete loss of roof and collapse of at least two exterior (brick) walls… most notable around the garage. Numerous trees surrounding the properties were snapped or uprooted.
In addition… one small and one medium-sized shed were completely destroyed. This area appeared to be where the tornado was at its strongest /peak winds: 125 mph = EF-2 rating/. Other nearby homes in the neighborhood along Green Valley Circle sustained mainly loss of roof shingles… siding panels and broken windows.
Just up the hill from this location… a small apartment complex was hit. Partial uplift of the roof… loss of siding and broken windows were seen at a two-story building in the complex. Other smaller buildings had just minor roof damage /loss of shingles/ with small trees and branches snapped. Continuing northeast along its short track… the tornado appeared to quickly weaken and eventually lift near the intersection of 55th street and Martin Avenue… but not before causing partial roof loss to a home. At this location… plastic fencing around a pool was knocked out and several trees were snapped about halfway down. Quite a bit of debris was also noticed littering the area… seemingly deposited by the tornado as it diminished.