Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Storm Survey of Cumberland County Tornado from Friday

The National Weather Service Office in Raleigh has confirmed tornado touchdowns in Cumberland and Sampson Counties last Friday afternoon and evening. The strongest was an EF-1 tornado that touched down near Hope Mills. The National Weather Service's storm survey is posted below. All images posted here are courtesy of the National Weather Service Office in Raleigh.

…National Weather Service Tornado Survey in Cumberland County…

Time/Date: 513 PM - 520 PM EDT Friday March 27, 2009
Peak Wind: 88 mph
Path Length: 5.0 miles (from the Robeson County line northeast to near the Fayetteville Regional Airport)
Injuries: None
Fatalities: None

The National Weather Service, in conjunction with Cumberland County Emergency Management, determined that an EF-1 tornado touched down just north of the Robeson County line just southeast of Hope Mills in the Roslin community.. The tornado damage track was about 50 yards wide and stretched northeast for approximately 5 miles.

The EF-1 tornado initially touched down around 513 PM just north of the Robeson County line on Roslin Farm Road where a brick home lost more than eighty percent of its roof structure. A resident who was home at the time took shelter in the bathroom just moments before the tornado struck. Interestingly enough this was the third home to have been destroyed by a tornado at this same location since 1968 all owned by the same resident. Several sheds and outbuilding in the area were also destroyed and a neighbors house suffered minor structural damage to the garage. The tornado then tracked northeast, over bare fields before reaching Braxton Road. At Braxton Road the tornado continued with EF-1 intensity winds causing significant damage to a home which experienced around twenty percent roof loss. The house was a recently constructed well built two story home. The upstairs structure was seriously damaged and the house was condemned. Numerous sheds and fences were blown over in the area. One vehicle next door was moved nearly 50 feet from one side of the road to another. Just downwind from this home a garage sustained significant damage. Several residents in the garage were informed of the Tornado Warning when a friend called them on a cell phone all before the tornado hit. They then turned on television just moments before the tornado struck. Everyone in the garage took shelter under a billiards table. Two walls of the garage were blown out. In the same area a doublewide mobile home was blown about 5 feet off its foundation and lost nearly one hundred percent of its roof structure.

The tornado continued northeast crossing Chicken Foot Road and Corporation Drive along which several trees were snapped. The tornado crossed Interstate 95 where numerous trees were blown down and snapped near Tim Starling Road. It was just north of this intersection where a tractor trailer was overturned by the high winds. Just west of Interstate 95 near the intersection of Tim Starling Road and Research Drive a large industrial building suffered significant roof damage. The wind of the tornado caused the roof the buckle enough for the Fire Marshall to order an evacuation of the building after the storm. Rocks on the roof of the building were blown into the parking lot shattering the windows of numerous vehicles. A large generator weighing a coupe thousand pounds was blown off a tractor trailer spilling around 40 gallons of diesel fuel. A. unfinished house under construction on Tim Starling Drive was also significantly damaged. A storage warehouse in the same area sustained minor damage when one of the bay doors blew in.

The tornado continued tracking northeast along Research Road while weakening to EF-0 as it approached Claude Lee Road. Numerous trees were blown down and sheds destroyed along Catherine Drive and Arlie Drive. Several homes in the area lost shingles and suffered minor damage to trim and siding. The tornado then lifted off the ground just as it approached the Fayetteville Regional Airport.

Special thanks are extended to Cumberland County Emergency Services for assistance during this survey and for providing access to the damaged areas.

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