The National Weather Service confirmed what many North Alabama residents already experienced for themselves Tuesday night — two tornadoes cut a swath of destruction through the Shoals. That brings the total number of NWS-confirmed twisters seen so far this summer up to three. An EF-0 storm previously touched down in Madison County.
The NWS says an EF-1 tornado touched down near the Tuscumbia and Sheffield region along the banks of the Tennessee River Tuesday evening. An EF-1 tornado is defined as a weather system with winds of 95 miles per hour. North Alabama residents took to social media to share dramatic images of the damage from the storm Wednesday morning.
Homes and trees in Sheffield experienced moderate to severe damage, while a light tower at Deshler High School was completely destroyed. Along Highway 43, the tornado rolled over an un-anchored building and severely damaged the roof of a car dealership, before its rampage finally came to an end on Spring Valley Road.
Meanwhile, an EF-0 twister touched down near the Lawrence County line in LaGrange, by Poplar Creek Loop off County Road 48. The relatively mild tornado nevertheless had winds of 85 miles per hour, according to NWS officials. Fortunately, the damage from this storm was limited mostly to trees, not homes or businesses.
The damage from the tornadoes could have been much worse, according to weather officials. Fortunately, metal roofs in North Alabama are usually built to withstand winds of 120 mph (the speed of an EF-2 tornado), which is why a metal roof can lower homeowner’s insurance by up to 35%. One of the homes that suffered severe roof damage was actually destroyed by a falling tree, not blown away by the 95-mph winds.
The NWS says it’s possible the two tornadoes were part of the same storm track, although they were unable to confirm whether this was the case. The NWS did confirm the twisters came from the same parent storm.