I accompanied the EMA of Cumberland and the National Weather Service (NWS) on a site survey on the storm damage in Rinnie from Tuesday morning’s storm. The NWS confirms that an EF-0 tornado with winds as high as 85 mph touched down in Rinnie.
The tornado appears to have started at Highway 127N and Smith Road. It may have actually touched down on the road. A trailer lost its roof and several trees were downed. This was damage that I had suspected was straight-line wind damage. It is, in fact, EF-0 tornado damage. The winds in that area were likely around 75 mph.
The tornado then tracked east, northeast and strengthened into a high-end EF-0, with winds as high as 85 mph. The tornado damaged roofs, destroyed some farm buildings, and downed many trees. Some of the trees were quite large. I shared pictures I took in a post yesterday.
The tornado likely continues over to Catoosa, but blocked roads prevented much storm surveying over there. Never the less, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has provided numerous pictures on their Facebook page that shows a lot of tree damage.
This tornado strikes Rinnie almost exactly 8 years to the day the last tornado hit Rinnie. That tornado was a deadly EF-2 that claimed two lives and struck the south end of Rinnie on February 29, 2012 (Leap Day tornado). This week’s tornado occurred on March 3rd.
People are beginning to find debris from the Cookeville tornado in Rinnie. Some pictures have been found, a drawing, and even some insulation. I encourage anyone in Rinnie, especially along Bear Creek Road, to search their property for things that may belong to those who lost homes west of Cookeville. There’s a Facebook page to link folks to belongings.
Our Cumberland County tornado now makes the fifth tornado confirmed from Tuesday’s supercell (at last count I had). That will be updated later on. We are not sure, at this time, if this tornado links to the Morgan County one. We suspect it may have been a separate touchdown.
I appreciate the opportunity to accompany the NWS and EMA. I learned some things today! I am also so very grateful that we were spared the worst of the damage from this storm. We have much to be thankful for.