Tornado Damage

Strong storms Saturday flattened a home at Lake Murvaul.

Saturday’s storms produced five tornadoes in the Ark-La-Tex region, including two EF-2s in Panola County, the National Weather Service said in a preliminary report issued Sunday night.

Both of the Panola County tornadoes were on the ground for more than 15 miles and reached winds above 115 mph, resulting in the death of one person, injuries to several others and widespread damage throughout the southern half of the county.

Damage surveys indicated the following tornadoes:

Tornado No. 1 was an EF-2 tornado with peak winds of 120 mph that began about eight miles south-southwest of Rusk in Cherokee County around 6 p.m. and ended around 6:38 p.m. four miles east-southwest of Reklaw in Nacogdoches County, a path of about 20 miles. The National Weather Service says the tornado began around Russell Cemetery off FM 23 south-southwest of Rusk, crossing U.S. 69 and causing intermittent damage along County Road 1101.

The NWS said the tornado then crossed FM 343, intensifying and widening to about 500 yards. The tornado snapped several hundred trees along County Road 1211 and County Road 1209 before it weakened and lifted northwest of Sacul.

Tornado No. 2 was an EF-2 that began about one mile west of Mount Enterprise in Rusk County and ended three miles north-northwest of Gary in Panola County. The NWS said peak winds reached 115 mph, and the tornado continued along a 21-mile path about 300 yards wide.

The NWS said the tornado began around 7 p.m. in Mount Enterprise, where it uprooted trees and then caused shingle and roof damage before damaging a church steeple as it crossed U.S. 84.

“The tornado continued to snap and uproot trees and produce shingle damage as it passed across the north side of Mount Enterprise,” the NWS said. “After moving out of Mount Enterprise, the tornado continued to uproot and snap trees until it reached several residences on the shore of Lake Murvaul. There, the tornado increased in intensity as it snapped or uprooted most trees and damaged the shingles on many homes. The tornado crossed Lake

Murvaul, and it weakened as it began to produce more sporadic damage.”

The NWS said a preliminary analysis indicates the tornado lifted northeast of Lake Murvaul and northwest of Gary. While the preliminary survey does not show a continuous track, the NWS said data from aerial surveys may show there was one continuous track to just south of Carthage.

Tornado No. 3 ran about 16 miles southeast and east of Carthage, with peak winds of 125 mph. The EF-2 began about four miles south-southeast of Carthage around 7:38 p.m. and ended nine miles west of Keachi around 8:05 p.m.

The NWS said the tornado touched down near U.S 59 south of Carthage, where it downed and uprooted trees before intensifying and running parallel to FM 2517. It ripped the roof off a single-family home, completely destroyed three metal outbuildings and shifted a single-family home off its foundation. On County Road 405, the tornado tossed an antique car about 50 yards, wrapped sheet metal around trees and then went on to snap trees along County Road 407. It then crossed FM 699, damaging a home’s roof and pulling a manufactured home free from its anchors.

“The tornado widened considerably and produced a wide swath of snapped trees north and south of FM-2517, likely numbering well into the hundreds, especially in an area along CR-448,” the NWS said. “As the tornado crossed Hwy 31, a large outbuilding was destroyed, but portions of the wooden frame remained anchored by bolts to the foundation. In this same area, a large pine tree was uprooted and fell onto a single-wide manufactured home killing one person and injuring another.”

The tornado kept traveling north of FM 2517 before it crossed County Road 470, County Road 471 and lifted east of County Road 332.

Tornado No. 4 was an EF-1 near Keachi, Louisiana that had estimated peak winds of 93 mph and ran about 3.5 miles along in DeSoto Parish.

“The tornado began on Holmes Road between Highways 168 and 172. It tracked northeast and eventually straddled the Caddo/DeSoto Parish Line,” the NWS said. “It lifted near the triple intersection of Keatchie-Marshall Road, Pluto Road, and Majestic Road. Damage consisted entirely of snapped and uprooted trees.”

Tornado No. 5 was an EF-1 with peak winds of 105 mph that ran 12 miles about two miles south-southwest from Stonewall, Louisiana in DeSoto Parish to about nine miles east-north-east of Stonewall in Caddo Parish.

That tornado caused roof damage to homes in the North Desoto Estates subdivision and destroyed an attached garage on Ann Francis Road just east of U.S 171.

“The tornado continued east-northeast over open country snapping and uprooting trees. It turned more to the northeast after crossing Interstate 49 and produced more consistent tree damage along Rodeo Drive just north of Stonewall-Frierson Road,” the NWS said,

Damage to homes and trees was observed on Rodeo Drive and Ellerbe Road east of Wallace Lake Dam before lifting.

The NWS said a preliminary survey shows Tornado No. 4 and Tornado No. 5 were on a continuous track.

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Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.