Tornado roars into Blackgum, destroys Snake Creek Marina

NWS tracks two tornadoes

What the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tulsa described as a “long-lived” supercell thunderstorm that moved through the county Friday evening produced at least two tornadoes in the county and another two in Crawford County, Ark.

A tornado touched down southeast of Webbers Falls as an EF-1, and a second, separate twister touched down near Blackgum registered as an EF 2, according to the NWS.

The Webbers Falls tornado developed about 9:28 p.m. in the Arkansas River bottoms about 3.6 miles south, southeast of Webbers Falls  in Muskogee County where several center pivot irrigation systems were destroyed and barns were damaged, according to the NWS.

The tornado crossed the Arkansas River into Sequoyah County, uprooting trees as it crossed Interstate 40 and continued northeast, crossing U.S. Highway 64 east of Gore, where some trees were snapped.

At its peak, the tornado speeds were clocked at between 95 and 105 mph and had a maximum path width of 400 yards. It dissipated over open country south of E1000 Road. It ended about 9:37 p.m.

A second tornado formed near Blackgum at about 9:43 p.m. packing winds from 115 to 125 mph, within the EF-2 range. The width of the path was estimated at 1,100 yards.

After forming at Blackgum, the tornado moved northeast along the eastern shores of Lake Tenkiller, destroying or damaging numerous homes, boat docks, boats, and outbuildings, the NWS reported. Also, many trees and power poles were downed or snapped, and hangars at the airport west of Cookson were destroyed.

Continuing northeast from Cookson, the tornado crossed into Adair County on Highway 51, east of Eldon and south of Proctor.

The NWS determined the tornado path was at least 25 miles, but indicated the end time, and ending point had yet to be determined, indicating the ending point may have been as far north as southern Delaware County.

Two more twisters formed from the same system in Crawford County, Ark., developing north of Interstate 40 and just west of Lee Creek Road, traveling northeast damaging numerous homes, uprooting numerous trees and structures. A second funnel formed near Rudy in the same county.

Sequoyah County Times

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