The Tornado of April 16, 2011





Though we didnŐt know it at the time, the tornado had crossed Rt 602 only a couple of hundred yards from the store, blocking the roads with trees and downed power lines. Reports started filtering in of serious damage in Deltaville and only a few hundred yards away, up Warner Road, two trailers were completely destroyed and a woman was lying in the middle of a field.



The woman survived and was transported to the hospital. These trailers are over two miles from the farm by air and the tornado went from here directly through the middle of the farm at about 7:30 on Saturday night. Roads were blocked and I couldnŐt get home until after 10:00


Photo by Larry Chowning



There is pink insulation and other debris from the trailers on Warner Road scattered all over the farm. This is in a tree next to our house. Steve Esbach found a family picture from the trailer in his yard.




Racetrack Road is completely blocked by downed cedar trees, power poles and electric lines.




Trees down at the entrance to Jeans driveway.




Maggie Moo and Gertrude lost their shelter. The fences were destroyed and all of the cows went to visit Steve. We managed to get them into a field that looked like it had a fence around it, but there was no power so they were on the honor system. Maggie, Gertrude and Bubba are still wandering around on their own.




The old cedar tree leading to Jeans yard. Maggie is surveying the damage.




Other than a few trees and limbs, Jean and Jim have very little Damage. Esbach had some doors blown off and damage to his enclosed porch.




Minor roof damage – part of the roof can be seen in the tree. Jean lost the Grimes Golden apple tree that I had grafted from a tree that Bankie (Stiff, Nuckles, Benton) had played in as a child.




We had a lot of trees down, but no damage to the house




In front of our house




More at our house




Power was restored Sunday afternoon and we started clearing the road Monday morning. Barb hauled debris to the middle of the Filly Field to be burned later. Raoul and Robert manned the chain saws and I supervised.




You donŐt mess with Mamma -




By the end of the day, we had two significant piles of trees in the field and we had only cleared the road. Still lots of trees in the fields to cut up and haul today (Tues.)




Road before




Road after.




There was a huge eagles nest in an enormous virgin pine on one of fence rows directly in the path of the tornado. This picture was taken by Shelley Gill two years ago. The tree trunk is over six feet in diameter and had limbs bigger than most trees. The nest was over 6Ő across and probably weighed over 1000 pounds.




This is all that remained of the tree after the storm. I searched the farm and could find no remnants of the nest or the eaglets. Here one of the eagles is still wondering what happened.





Another view of the eagle tree showing the size of the limbs on the ground.


We still have a lot of cleaning up to do, but fortunately no one was hurt and there was no significant structural damage – it could have been much worse!





I worked with Mamma Wed. and Thurs. and we kicked some serious butt! Raoul helped some with the trees but spent most of his time repairing cattle fences. Steve Esbach and Son helped by picking up smaller limbs. All of the cedar trees are now removed and piled for burning later in the year. This was worse than Isabelle in terms of tree damage and we cleaned it up in four days. After Isabelle I hired a crew of five men and a large loader – It took them a month and cost us a small fortune!


Dan Gill April 22, 2011