WINSTON COUNTY - The EF-2 tornado that caused damage in the Vinemont area of Cullman County Friday night, June 22, originated in far northeastern Winston County, where meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Birmingham found damage.
National Weather Service meteorologists surveyed damage in extreme northeastern Winston County and determined that it was consistent with an EF-0 tornado. The tornado began in a wooded area just east of the County Road 80 bridge over Rock Creek. The tornado crossed County 80 where a tree was uprooted. County Road 80 criss-crossed the tornado's path a couple times as it moved eastward. Sporadic tree damage occurred with several large branches broken and a few trees uprooted or snapped. The roof was removed from a newer large shed, and tin was peeled back from a couple of old barns.
As the tornado crossed into Cullman County, the vortex likely lifted shortly after crossing Cullman County Road 1069 after producing minor limb damage. The tornado likely touched down again west of the County Road 1055 and County Road 1082 intersection. Extensive tree damage was observed. Numerous trees were either uprooted or snapped as the tornado tracked through a depression on the north side of County Road 1055. Intensity was documented as 90 mph (EF-1) as it approached County Road 1082.
At this point, the tornado likely lifted again as it moved east of County Road 1082, with only minor limb damage observed through Sullivan Creek.
Peak intensity of the tornado was observed along County Road 1091, west of County Road 1114. A one year old manufactured home was completely destroyed as it broke away from its anchors, causing three injuries. The home was perpendicular to the winds, facing due west. It was displaced about 20 yards from its original location. Three of four corner anchor units were ripped from the ground. The fourth remained lodged in the ground, but the metal strap was ripped from the I-Beam. It is worth noting that the anchors were approximately 2-3 feet into the ground, and were strapped to the I-Beam (from what could be observed). However, given the highly saturated, muddy soil, the anchors were pulled out as the home tipped backwards. Given this potential failure, winds were estimated at 130 mph, or slightly above the expected value for a completely destroyed manufactured home.
Additionally, near this location, several trees were uprooted. A peak width of approximately 180 yards was also documented in this area.
As the tornado tracked east, another area of downed branches and uprooted trees were noted east of County Road 1107. This was the final location of observed damage as the tornado likely lifted and eventually dissipated along County Road 1114.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.