NWS: With 135 MPH winds, Saturday’s Bossier tornado just short of EF3


BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The National Weather Service reports the storm that claimed the lives of a Bossier Parish couple and injured another on Davis Road in Bossier Parish early Saturday morning, was just shy of an EF3 tornado.

The storm that raced into Bossier Parish around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, was on the upper scale of an EF2 as a strong tornado with 135 MPH winds.

EF3 tornadoes range from 136 – 165 MPH; EF2 violent tornadoes from 166 to 200 MPH; and EF5 violent tornado with winds in excess of 200 MPH. EF Scale stands for Enhanced Fujita Scale that classifies tornadoes into the various categories.

The NWS said the tornado had a maximum width of 300 yards and a length of 40.63 miles. It started at 1:24 a.m. in southeast Bossier City and ended at 2:05 a.m. in north Arcadia in Claiborne Parish.

Below is a summary of the tornado’s path, according to the NWS:

The tornado initially touched just south of Barksdale Air Force Base off of Sligo Rd in southern Bossier Parish.

There, it snapped and uprooted hundreds of softwood and hardwood trees and damaged several car ports and outbuildings.

The tornado then crossed the far southeast corner of Barksdale Air Force Base, which has not, as yet, been surveyed.

After the tornado exited the corner of Barksdale AFB, it strengthened south of Haughton to produce its most significant damage, completely destroying a single-wide manufactured home and a double-wide manufactured home off of Davis Road.

The two fatalities occurred in the double-wide, and the injury happened in the single wide.

The storm continued on, producing roof damage and uprooting and snapping trees,  which fell into homes in southeastern Bossier Parish.

The damage was most concentrated along James Lane.

After the tornado crossed into Webster Parish, it brought down hundreds of trees near Doyline and Sibley, before damaging a metal barn structure, the roof of a home and destroying a shed on Wallraven Road, north of Dubberly.

Just before the storm crossed Interstate-20 between exits 49 and 52, it developed a much wider swath of straight-line winds, with its rear flank downdraft, just south of the tornado damage.

After crossing I-20 southeast of Minden, the tornado then rolled a single-wide trailer and damaged roofs on two structures before it moved into Claiborne Parish.

The tornado touched down intermittently throughout much of southern Claiborne Parish, passing south of Athens.

There, It produced partial roof damage on approximately a half-dozen chicken houses. With shingle and partial roof damage to several other structures.

Along the path, trees fell on homes, producing damage that could not be rated, since it occurred from the impact of the trees and not the direct impacts of the wind.

In addition, widespread straight-line winds, estimated at 90-100 mph along the path of the tornado, led to extensive tree damage.

The Bossier, Webster, and Claiborne Offices of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness assisted the NWS in locating damage for the survey.

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