30 Buildings Destroyed in Davidson, Randolph Co. Tornado | News
A tornado with winds as fast as 135 mph has been blamed for killing two people and destroying at least 30 buildings in Davidson and Randolph counties on Wednesday.
The EF2 tornado took a 12.5-mile path starting in central Davidson County around 6:05 p.m. and ending in western Randolph County around 6:25 p.m., according to a National Weather Service report released Friday.
The tornado was 200 yards wide at its biggest point, and winds ranged from 90-135 mph, according to the NWS report.
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Davidson County Emergency Services director Jeff Smith said preliminary damage estimates are between $15 million and $20 million. Sixty homes were damaged, and 25 homes were destroyed in the county. At least five businesses were also destroyed, Smith said.
A state team completed their assessment of the damage on Friday. Smith said their results should be released soon on whether the county qualifies for state assistance. Smith said the area did not sustain enough damage to qualify for FEMA assistance.
In the meantime, Smith said homeowners should contact their insurance carrier to begin the home repair and/or restoration process.
PDF: Storm damage path map in Davidson County
In Randolph County, more than a dozen structures were damaged, according to a release from the governor's office. Most of the damage there happened to homes and a barn. An outhouse was also destroyed, NWS officials said.
Fifteen people were injured in the tornado. It also killed Janice Shaw, 50, and Azlyn Shaw, 3, in their home off Old Burkhart Road south of Lexington. Steve Shaw was driving home from work as the storm destroyed his family's home.
MORE: Man Lost Wife, Grandchild in Davidson Co. Tornado
The first tornado warning in Davidson County was issued around 5:25 p.m., and the last tornado warning in Randolph County expired at 6:45 p.m.
Davidson County 911 dispatchers took hundreds of storm-related calls Wednesday, Smith said.
Below is the National Weather Service tornado report released Friday evening. It is in the order of the path that the storm took.
6:05 p.m. - Parks Road and State Highway 47: This was where the tornado first touched down. There were several snapped and uprooted trees.
Silver Ridge Subdivision: This was the first area with structural damage. Roofs were lifted off of multiple homes, and one roof was carried 150 yards away above a grove of trees. There were only minor injuries.
6:10 p.m. - Old Burkhart Road: The tornado blew a trailer a couple hundred feet downwind. A tree toppled through a home, and there were downed power lines.
After 6:10 p.m. - Meadow Run Lane: Two homes slid from their foundation shortly after 6:10 p.m. One of those homes was where two people were killed. That home, located on a steep embankment, is believed to have collapsed as it slid down the embankment. A vehicle was rolled forcefully into an adjacent stand of trees at the top of the embankment. Damage was consistent with an EF2 storm.
Highway 109 and 64: The tornado was in this area sometime between 6:15 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. A game room that formerly housed Trotters Marina suffered the most damage in this area. Some exterior walls and the roof were blown into an adjacent parking lot. Two people suffered minor injuries, including a pregnant woman.
Structural damage, mainly to roofing, was also observed at the Lowe's Home Improvement distribution center, Skippers Seafood and the Citgo gas station. Damage was at the EF1 level in these locations and at the EF2 level at the game room.
Laurel Drive AAA Mobile Home Park: EF1-level damage occurred here. A tree toppled through the back of one of the homes, and another home facing Old Burkhart Road was shifted from the foundation. Tree damage appeared to be more minor than surrounding areas.
6:23 p.m. - Welborne Ridge Court: The EF1 tornado continued into western Randolph County. A travel trailer was flipped and slid 50-75 feet, and a nearby full-sized pickup truck also was slid about the same distance. A 12-by-24-foot outbuilding at the same home was largely destroyed.
6:25 p.m. - Finch Farm Road: This was the end point of the tornado track around 6:25 p.m. A barn suffered damage consistent with that at nearby Welborne Ridge Court.