WX History: April 4th

1804: A group of tornadoes slashed a 120-mile path across seven counties in Georgia and one county in South Carolina killing 11 people near Augusta, GA. The tornado’s path through heavy timber was still visible some 71 years later as noted in an Army Signal Corps survey.

April 4, 1804 Georgia Tornado
The clipping above is from the Army Signal Service survey report from a tornado event on March 20, 1875.  They noted damage from the April 4th, 1804 tornado was still evident.

Source: Army Signal Service annual report of 1875.

1923: An estimated F4 tornado killed 15 people and injured 150 at Alexandria and Pineville, LA. 142 homes and businesses in Pineville were destroyed.

April 4, 1923 Pineville LA tornado damage
Main Street Pineville following the tornado. The photograph is from the Vintage Postcard Collection of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Source: Vintage Postcard Collection of Alexandria, Louisiana.

1966: One of the strongest tornadoes in Florida’s history moved in from the Gulf of Mexico and ripped through Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, and Osceola County. Damage was very severe in the towns of Gibsonia and Galloway in Polk County. 11 people were killed, and 350 were injured. The tornado was classified as F4.

April 4, 1966 Florida Tornado Paths
The tornado track map above is courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Tornado Tracks Tool.

1977: A Southern Airways DC-9 jet crashed near New Hope, Georgia, after being struck by large hail. The hail and associated heavy precipitation caused the engines to flame out. Seventy-two people (including nine on the ground) died.

April 4, 1977 New Hope Georgia Plane Crash

1977: A massive F5 tornado moved across northern Birmingham, Alabama, killing 22 people and injuring 130. The tornado cut a 15-mile path from just northwest of Birmingham to the town of Tarrant. 167 homes were destroyed, primarily in the Smithfield Estates subdivision. Daniel Payne College sustained significant damage. At one point, the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide. The tornado crossed busy I-65, tossing cars and trucks like they were toys. Other tornadoes killed one other person in Alabama and one person in Georgia that day.

April 4, 1977 Smithfield tornado damage
Damage in Smithfield, Georgia following the tornado.

Source: NWS Office in Birmingham, Alabama.




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