Cleanup continues after Tipton County tornado touchdown

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On just a few hours of sleep, Daniel Hodges and his team at Hodges Tree and Landscape were back out in several areas of West Tipton County Monday morning, taking care of downed trees left by an EF-1 tornado that touched down the day before.

“We were here until mid-morning,” Hodges said,” probably two or three in the morning, just getting the tree off the house, and now we’re here cleaning stuff up.”

The National Weather Service in Memphis, after assessing the storm’s damage for several hours, confirmed it was a single tornado that swept through parts of Tipton County, reaching winds as high as 95 mph, resulting in the EF-1 rating.

“We have seen a lot of tree damage, a lot of trees that were uprooted, some tree trunks that were snapped. A lot of damage to storage buildings and storage sheds, as well,” said Gary Woodall, a Meteorologist with NWS Memphis.

Woodall was asked why there were reports of no warnings being issued at the time of the tornado’s development.

“It was moving fairly steadily, but the rotation did seem to develop pretty quickly,” Woodall said.

Residents like Ed Quirk recall the touchdown lasting only seconds.

“Then it was over,” Quirk said. “We came out, and I was amazing at what I saw.”

An EF-1 is considered “weak” by the Enhance Fujita (EF) scale, but the damage left on Sunday afternoon was anything but.

“The main thing is that nobody was hurt,” Hodges said while working on a home that had a tree fall onto its roof. “Properties can be replaced, but we want to get things safe and also tarp the house so water and stuff like that don’t create more problems.”

Hodges said with a 10 man crew, the home he was working on might take a few hours.

With his guys stretched out, it could look like a few days.

“But it’ll definitely get done,” he said, “100 percent.”

Residents like Quirk say they’ve never seen a storm hit this bad in their part of Tipton County.

Woodall says this serves as a good lesson that storms can develop anywhere and that it’s best to be prepared.

“To know where they’re going to go, what they’re going to do instinctively,” Woodall said, “so that if there is either no or very little warning lead time people will instinctively know what to do and can keep themselves safe.”

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