The Damage Survey Team from the National Weather Service in Shreveport spent much of the day Sunday analyzing the destruction from several tornadoes that touched down Saturday evening across portions of Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Rusk and Panola Counties. These tornadoes were all categorized as EF2 strength with highest winds registered at 125 mph.  Here are some of the specifics on these tornadoes from the National Weather Service.

(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

The first tornado touched down just after 6 p.m. eight miles south-southwest of Rusk.  It stayed on the ground for over 30 minutes before lifting four miles east-southeast of Sacul in northwestern Nacogdoches County. This tornado widened to approximately 500 yards after crossing FM 343.  Several hundred trees were snapped as the tornado reached top wind speeds of 120 mph near County Roads 1211 and 1209.

The second tornado spawned from this same parent storm cell touched down one miles west of Mt. Enterprise at 6:59 p.m.  It stayed on the ground for 30 minutes before lifting 3 miles north-northwest of Gary in Panola County.  This storm was responsible for numerous reports of shingle/roof damage to several homes in the Mt. Enterprise area.  One home had its roof mostly removed near the intersection of Highway 84 and West 5th Street.  A church steeple was also damaged near Highway 84.  As the tornado exited the north portions of Mt. Enterprise, it reached several residences on the shore of Lake Murvaul.  There, the tornado intensified to 115 mph and widened to 300 yards.  Numerous trees were uprooted and several residences were damaged.

The third tornado from this cell touched down at 7:38 p.m. just to the south-southeast of Carthage.  This twister stayed on the ground for nearly 30 minutes reaching speeds of 125 mph and widening to an impressive 1600 yards at its maximum before lifting 9 miles west of Keachi, Louisiana.  After touching down near Highway 59, the tornado ran parallel for FM 2517 and ripped the roof off of a single family home. The tornado destroyed 3 metal outbuildings and shifted another home off of its foundation.  An antique vehicle was tossed 50 yards while other homes were damaged near County Roads 407 and 408.  The tornado reached top wind speeds of 125 mph as it neared County Road 448.  It was in that area where a large pine feel onto a single-wide home killing one person and injuring another.

The parent storm cell produced two more tornadoes in northwestern Louisiana.  Both of those twisters were given EF1 statuses with top wind speeds of 105 mph.


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