Two storm tracks cause damage
TORNADO: Winds up to 80 mph ripped through portions of Oregon County April 11 causing damage to many homes. A large tree fell on a carport and truck at the Bryan Roy residence located on Highway 19 south of Alton. Photo/ Sisk/Lawrence.
STORM: The Mike and Beverly Crawford home on E Highway had 16 double pane windows broken out by hail April 25. The vinyl siding on the front of the home was destroyed by the large hail. The National Weather Service in Springfield said an F-0 tornado touched down in Oregon County around 4:40 p.m. Photo/Sisk/Lawrence
HAIL: Large hail remained in the yard of Mike and Beverly Crawford on E Highway 16 hours after an F-0 tornado with 80-mph winds tore through Oregon County April 25. Photo/Sisk/Lawrence
OREGON COUNTY -- The National Weather Service in Springfield confirmed an F-0 tornado touched down in Oregon County around 4:40 p.m. April 22.
Bill Davis, meteorologist, said the storm was small but intense and covered approximately a nine-mile area before heading east and weakening.
"There was actually two tracks to this storm. The first started near M Highway north of Koshkonong and traveled almost due east to County Road 317. Another storm traveled south of Alton on Highway 19 just north of A Highway," Davis said.
He said he was in Oregon County April 26 to assess the storm damage. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning the afternoon of the storm and it was tracked on radar looking pretty severe.
"An F-0 tornado is a small storm with winds up to 80 mph. It usually does not do a great amount of damage, although you have to remember there is a lot of circulation with these 80-mph winds," Davis said.
He said large hail accompanied the storm. "Most of the hail damage, which was golf ball size, was on E Highway just south and east of Alton," he said.
Mike and Beverly Crawford learned what kind of damage golfball size hail can do. Their two-story home is located about three miles east of Alton on E Highway. The vinyl siding on the front of the house was destroyed by the pounding hail.
"I had gone to Poplar Bluff for my annual training when the storm hit and Beverly was with me," Crawford said. He serves as Oregon County public administrator and is required by the state to received 20 hours of training every year.
"We think the storm came from the west. Our friends and neighbors took hold of the situation while we were gone and placed plywood over the broken windows in the front of our house," he said.
Crawford said the house had 16 double windows destroyed by the wind and hail. After neighbors called them in Poplar Bluff the Crawfords immediately returned home. Crawford said he thinks the storm hit around 5 p.m. A front room of the home on the east side was littered with broken glass and leaves.
At 11 a.m. the next day there were still small piles of hail in the Crawford's yard.
The Crawfords have lived in the home for 15 years.
"Roscoe Simmons told me this same house was hit by a tornado in 1949. It was owned then by Nerva Fanning's father. Her home was located just a few miles away and was destroyed in the storm. This house was moved well off its foundation," Crawford said.
Just down the road from the Crawfords is the Cave Springs Church. Although the church did not receive any damage, a well house near the church was damaged when a large tree fell on it.
Many trees were blown down and windows were broken up and down E Highway.
Approximately three miles south of Alton on Highway 19 Bryan Roy was standing out in his front yard when he saw the tornado approaching.
As Roy pointed to a huge oak tree that had fallen on his carport and Jeep, he said, "It came out of the west and twisted this tree around before pulling it out of the ground.
Roy has lived in the rock house 17 years. It was not damaged. "The only thing that saved my windows were the screens," Roy said.
Roy said he had full coverage insurance on the 1987 Jeep but he did not expect to get out of it what it was worth. "That truck was my pride and joy. I bought it new. It was the last truck made by American Motors before they were bought out by Dodge," he said.
Roy said he had just returned from Thayer when the storm hit. "I had just bought 20 some tomato plants and they were in the back of the truck. Some of them were destroyed too," he said.