The Top Ten Disasters of 2020 - #7 Tennessee Tornado Outbreaks

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Tidal Basin reviews the biggest disasters of the year

Tidal Basin has identified the Top Ten Disasters of 2020 based on significant events throughout the year that have caused historical impacts, including severe weather in Tennessee. The Volunteer State experienced twin tornado outbreaks in March and April – producing a total of 14 tornadoes combined, including and EF4 near Cookeville and an EF3 near Chattanooga. The tornadoes killed 28 people in Tennessee and injured over three hundred.

#7: The Tennessee Tornado Outbreaks

The EF4 near Cookeville touched down during the early morning hours on March 3rd. Tyler Smith, Putnam County Emergency Management Director, says the community was devastated. “We were not expecting the weather to be that bad, we were only under a slight risk for severe weather,” said Smith.

Smith says the EF4 tornado was the worst he has ever seen in his career. The National Weather Service says the twister produced winds estimated near 185 miles per hour as it ripped through populated areas of the county. The Putnam County storms were responsible for 19 of the 28 total fatalities from the two outbreaks.

Tennessee was struck again during Easter weekend in April with tornadoes reported across the Southeast portion of the state. An EF3 tornado with winds near 150 miles per hour killed three in Hamilton County near Chattanooga. WRCB TV Chief Meteorologist Paul Barys said the storms were deadly in Tennessee and northern Georgia. “The deadliest tornado hit Rabun County killing seven,” he said.    

The estimated damages from the Spring tornadoes are near 1.5 billion dollars. Tennessee had recorded a total of 35 twisters so far in 2020 as of late September.

Stay tuned for #6 on our list of the Top Ten Disasters of 2020

To view what made our Top Ten list so far, click below: