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    EF4 Tornado Damage - Blue Ash, Ohio


    Photographer's description not available

    Photographer Mary Jo Parker, NWS Wilmington, OH
    Date taken April 9, 1999
    Location Blue Ash, Ohio (Hamilton County)     map
    Event Tornado damage

    Additional notes
    The damage in this photo is consistent with a low-end EF4 tornado (this tornado was rated F4 using the old Fujita Scale).  It generally takes winds of 165 to 185 mph to cause all exterior walls of well-built homes to collapse, and for trees to be debarked with only the stubs of the largest branches remaining.  This violent tornado resulted in 4 fatalities and 65 injuries.

    Related NWS Product: Tornado Warning

    Safety Note: When a basement is unavailable, it is important to move to a small center room on the lowest floor without windows.  As shown here, tornadoes up to EF-3 and low-end EF-4 strength will often leave small interior rooms of well-built homes standing.

    This tornado struck in the middle of the night when most people were asleep.  Though this tornado was warned for well in advance and storm sirens were sounding, many slept through the warning or did not hear the sirens.  The National Weather Service encourages all homes and businesses to have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand, which will sound a loud alert when a warning is issued for your county.  It is also important to have a tornado safety plan in place before a tornado strikes.  Even if you are woke in advance of a tornado, you may be frightened and/or groggy which will make it difficult to think clearly and take yourself to safety.

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