Deadly Bladen County, NC Tornado Declared EF-2 (4/16/2011)


A tornado was reported in Bladen County, NC on Saturday. The tornado was responsible for one death near Bladenboro, NC. Here is the findings for that tornado according to the Wilmington NWS office.

…TORNADO CONFIRMED NEAR BLADENBORO IN BLADEN COUNTY NORTH
CAROLINA…

LOCATION…BLADENBORO IN BLADEN COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA
DATE…APRIL 16, 2011
ESTIMATED TIME…4:58 PM EDT – 5:20 PM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING…EF-2
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…120 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…440 YARDS
PATH LENGTH…14 MILES
BEGINNING LAT/LON…34.52/78.78
ENDING LAT/LON…34.67/78.57
* FATALITIES…ONE
* INJURIES…NONE

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
STORM DATA.

…SUMMARY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WILMINGTON NC HAS CONFIRMED A
TORNADO NEAR BLADENBORO IN BLADEN COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA ON APRIL 16,
2011.

TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED AT 458 PM IN DOWNTOWN BLADENBORO AT THE
INTERSECTION OF SEABOARD ROAD AND NC HIGHWAY 242 (N. MAIN STREET). A
GAS STATION HAD ITS ASPHALT ROOF ENTIRELY RIPPED OFF AND TOSSED INTO
THE ALUMINUM AWNING OVER THE PUMPS, DAMAGING THE AWNING. ACROSS
SEABOARD ROAD A SMALL INDUSTRIAL BUILDING ALSO HAD ITS ASPHALT ROOF
ENTIRELY REMOVED AND TOSSED 30 YARDS DOWNWIND. THE TORNADO THEN CAME
ENTIRELY TO THE GROUND DECIMATING A GROVE OF ABOUT 75 MAPLE/OAK
TREES, SOME UP TO 2 FT IN DIAMETER. PATH WIDTH AT THIS POINT WAS
APPROXIMATELY 150 YARDS, AND ESTIMATED WINDS AT THIS POINT WERE 90
TO 100 MPH, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH AN EF1 RATING.

THE TORNADO REMAINED ON THE GROUND AS IT TRACKED JUST WEST OF HWY
242 NE OF BLADENBORO. ALONG THIS PATH THE TORNADO ENCOUNTERED A
SERIES OF SINGLE WIDE MOBILE HOMES. OF THESE HOMES, ONE UN-MOUNTED
HOME WAS FLIPPED ONTO ITS SIDE, A SECOND WAS PARTIALLY DESTROYED,
WHILE A THIRD HAD ITS ENTIRE METAL ROOF COVERING RIPPED OFF AND
TOSSED UP INTO A TREE. JUST BEYOND THESE HOMES THE BLADENBORO EMS
BUILDING WAS ALSO DAMAGED. PARTIAL UPLIFT OF THE ROOF OF THIS BRICK
BUILDING WAS NOTED, AS WELL AS THE COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF A SMALL
SHED. IN ADDITION, MANY LARGE HARDWOOD TREES WERE UPROOTED. THIS
DAMAGE IS CONSISTENT WITH WINDS OF 90 TO 100 MPH, CONTINUING ALONG
AS AN EF1 RATING.

THE TORNADO THEN WIDENED TO 200 YARDS AS IT CONTINUED NE JUST WEST
OF HWY 242. THE TORNADO ENCOUNTERED A NEIGHBORHOOD OF MOBILE HOMES
IN THE RONALD BRITT ROAD AREA. ALMOST EVERY TREE IN THIS
NEIGHBORHOOD, MOSTLY CONSISTING OF OAK, WAS SNAPPED ABOUT HALFWAY UP
THE TRUNK. MANY OF THE HOMES SUSTAINED AT LEAST MINOR COSMETIC
DAMAGE. THREE OF THE HOMES WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED INCLUDING ONE
IN WHICH EVEN THE DEBRIS HAD BEEN DEPOSITED WELL DOWNWIND OF WHERE
THE HOME INITIALLY STOOD. IT WAS IN THIS LOCATION THAT THE ONE
FATALITY OCCURRED. ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE DAMAGE IN THIS AREA
CONTINUED AS EF1, THE WORST DAMAGE IS CONSISTENT WITH WINDS OF 110
TO 120 MPH WHICH IS LOW END EF2.

AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO THE NE IT WIDENED FURTHER AND INCREASED
IN STRENGTH. NEAR BILL CRAWLEY ROAD AT AROUND 508 PM, A SINGLE WIDE
MOBILE HOME WAS COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED AND ITS DEBRIS WAS SPREAD 50
YARDS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF HWY 242. 75-80% OF ALL TREES WERE SNAPPED
OR UPROOTED IN THIS AREA. THE TORNADO THEN CROSSED BACK ACROSS HWY
242 AND REACHED ITS MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH OF 440 YARDS AS IT CROSSED
GUYTON ROAD AND ENCOUNTERED A SERIES OF SINGLE FAMILY HOMES. A LARGE
BRICK HOME HAD APPROXIMATELY HALF OF ITS ROOF DESTROYED AND BLOWN
AWAY WHILE THE OTHER HOMES SUFFERED SIGNIFICANT COSMETIC DAMAGE.
ADDITIONALLY, A FEW EMPTY GALVANIZED STEEL GRAIN SILOS WERE LIFTED
AND MOVED 100 YARDS. THIS DAMAGE IS CONSISTENT WITH AN EF2 RATING,
WITH WINDS AROUND 120 MPH.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED ON THE GROUND THROUGH MOSTLY FORESTED AREAS
UNTIL APPROACHING THE ELIZABETHTOWN AREA BY 512 PM. IT FIRST
IMPACTED THE HAYFIELD NEIGHBORHOOD BEFORE CAUSING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE
TO THE AREA BETWEEN SINGLETARY AVENUE AND DOLL STREET, SE OF NC HWY
87. IN THE HAYFIELD AREA A WELL CONSTRUCTED HOME HAD ITS ROOF
PARTIALLY LIFTED CAUSING THE EXTERIOR WALLS TO BOW OUT. SIGNIFICANT
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE WAS NOTED TO THE ROOF AND UPPER PORTION OF
EXTERIOR WALLS. MANY OTHER HOMES IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD EXPERIENCED
SIGNIFICANT COSMETIC DAMAGE. AS THE TORNADO MOVED ACROSS CROMARTIE
ROAD ITS WIDTH DECREASED TO ABOUT 300 YARDS AND IT SNAPPED OR
UPROOTED NEARLY 100% OF THE TREES IN THIS AREA. MOST OF THE
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO HOMES HERE WAS FROM FALLING TREES. THE DAMAGE
DIRECTLY RELATED TO WINDS WAS MOSTLY COSMETIC WITH SHINGLES TORN OFF
AND SIDING DAMAGED. AS THE TORNADO CROSSED HWY 87 IT MADE A DIRECT
HIT ON ELIZABETHTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH. MODERATE ROOF DAMAGE WAS NOTED
ON SEVERAL OF THE BUILDINGS, AND A BRICK COVERED WALKWAY WAS ALMOST
COMPLETELY LEVELED. THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH EF1 DAMAGE, WITH WINDS
OF 90 TO 100 MPH.

FROM THERE THE TORNADO CONTINUED NE IMPACTING MOSTLY RURAL AREAS AND
FORESTED REGIONS AS IT BEGAN TO WEAKEN. THE TORNADO CROSSED NC HWY
53 W TAKING DOWN A SWATH OF PINE TREES 100 YARDS WIDE, SOME OF WHICH
BLOCKED THE ROAD. THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH LOW END EF1 DAMAGE, WITH
WINDS OF 85 TO 95 MPH. AT THIS POINT IT APPEARS THE TORNADO BEGAN TO
LIFT AS THE REMAINDER OF THE DAMAGE WAS MORE CONSISTENT WITH
STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE THROUGH THE OAK TREE LANE AREA. IT IS
POSSIBLE THAT AT THIS POINT A STRONG REAR FLANK DOWNDRAFT WRAPPED
AROUND THE TORNADO AND CAUSED SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE BUT VERY
LITTLE IN THE WAY OF STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. MANY LARGE OAK TREES WERE
UPROOTED WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH WINDS AROUND 80 MPH. SHORTLY
THEREAFTER THE DAMAGE PATH CAME TO AN END AS A FEW SNAPPED PINES
WERE NOTED NE OF WILLARD TATUM ROAD BY 520 PM.

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5 thoughts on “Deadly Bladen County, NC Tornado Declared EF-2 (4/16/2011)

  1. The farmer that lost his grain bins and most of his farm lives on HORSESHOE Road, not Guyton Road. The tornado also came down Horseshoe Road and destroyed a home about a mile and a half down the road from the grain bins. It put a tree through the center of a home which is now unlivable! My neighbor, on Horseshoe Road, lost EVERYTHING in the tornado, and this report doesn’t even mention our road or his home! He has been devastated! Horseshoe Road connects to Guyton Road; the tornado cut over from Guyton to Horseshoe and scared and devastated my Road as well! My children and I saw it…when we realized what it was, we ran for cover! It was HUGE, LOUD, and it was very SCARY!!!

    1. EF 2 tornado there. As a storm enthusiast and occasionally chaser, I never seen a tornado first hand, just funnel clouds. I went through an estimated EF-1 tornado in Michigan in the late 70s as a 5 year old. That loudness is something you don’t ever get out of your ears. Did your home get any damage?

    2. We were wondering who the farmer was, and does he still need assistance, ie, water, blankets, food, etc.?

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