National Weather Service Raw Text Product

Displaying AFOS PIL: PNSPAH Received: 2017-03-04 17:44 UTC

NOUS43 KPAH 041744

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Paducah, KY
1144 AM CST Sat Mar 4 2017

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR February 28, 2017 Perry County Missouri,
southwest Illinois Tornado...

.Perryville Missouri Tornado...

Rating:                 EF-4
Estimated peak wind:    180 mph
Path length /Statute/:  50.4 miles
Path width /Maximum/:   0.6 miles
Fatalities:             1
Injuries:               12

Start date:             February 28 
Start time:             7:55 PM CST
Start location:         4.8 miles WNW of Perryville, Missouri

End date:               February 28
End time:               8:57 PM CST
End location:           1.8 miles SW of Christopher, Illinois

The tornado quickly became violent reaching EF-4 intensity and
leveling 5 homes, as well as other structures, just west of I-55,
about 3.5 miles northwest of Perryville, Missouri. This is in the
Kyle Lane and County Road 806 area. Numerous uninhabited cars 
from a salvage yard were blown into or over I-55. The lone 
fatality occurred when an I-55 southbound vehicle was intercepted 
by the tornado. As the tornado tore east, it caused the area of 
greatest home and property destruction 3 miles north of
Perryville, in the vicinity of U.S. Highway 61 and Moore Drive. 
Three homes were leveled on the west side of U.S. Highway 61 with 
dozens of other homes and structures destroyed. Several of the 
injuries occurred in this area. In addition to the leveled homes 
in Perry County, at least 100 other homes received moderate to 
major damage. As the tornado continued east across Perry County, 
it leveled or nearly leveled 2 additional homes and destroyed 
numerous other homes and structures. The tornado reached its 
greatest width as it approached the Mississippi River where a 
damage swath 0.6 miles wide was measured. The tornado damage path
also exhibited multiple vortex characteristics at this point, 
yielding three distinct convergent areas within the parent vortex.
This was also indicated via ground striations, or disturbance 
marks to bare ground, just west of the Mississippi River. The 
tornado then ripped across the southern tip of Randolph County 
Illinois just south of Rockwood. It then continued its ENE path 
across Jackson County Illinois passing just south of Ava, 
Illinois and immediately south of Vergennes, Illinois. Many 
thousands of large trees were snapped and uprooted, and dozens of 
homes and other structures were damaged or destroyed across 
Jackson and Franklin Counties. The tornado remained very intense 
and wide (at least 1/3 mile) nearly leveling a home as it passed 
between Elkville and Dowell, Illinois and into Franklin County 
with unabating intensity. A house was leveled 1.75 miles south of 
Mulkeytown. Very soon thereafter the tornado began to rapidly 
weaken, before dissipating 1.8 miles southwest of Christopher. The
tornado lasted an astounding 1 hour and 2 minutes and was the 
longest track tornado in the coverage area of NWS Paducah since 
another EF-4 tornado back on April 22, 1981.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale Classifies Tornadoes into the 
following categories.

EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph
EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph
EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph
EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph
EF4...Violent...166 To 200 mph
EF5...Violent...>200 mph|

The information in this statement is PRELIMINARY and subject to
change pending final review of the event and publication in
NWS Storm Data.