The first tornado moved in from Tennessee about three and a half miles southwest of Gamaliel. The tornado raced northeast, destroying two mobile homes and two conventional homes two miles west of Gamaliel. Thirteen residents of the four homes took shelter in the basement of one of the destroyed homes and survived unscathed, though they were trapped in the basement for half an hour before they were able to dig themselves out of the rubble. The tornado also damaged several other homes in a subdivision one mile north of Gamaliel, including taking the roof off of a brick home and stripping the brick from several of the walls. The tornado then continued northeast into a wooded area where it uprooted and snapped many large trees. On the north side of Tompkinsville the tornado completely destroyed a large wood frame metal warehouse and twisted a large steel frame building off its foundation and collapsed half of the building. Across the road from those buildings, a well-built brick house at the top of a hill was left with only a few interior walls remaining as its roof and side walls were swept away. A nearby detached 3-car garage was also destroyed.
The second tornado occurred just a few miles away but 3 hours later, and to the west of the first tornado. It touched down a quarter mile north of the state line half a mile northwest of Hayesville. The tornado moved northeast and destroyed a mobile home one mile north of Hayesville. It also heavily damaged a nearby conventional home, destroyed an outbuilding, and overturned another nearby mobile home one-quarter mile to the north. Continuing to the northeast, the tornado widened to nearly a half mile across as it destroyed five mobile homes and three conventionally built homes, along with numerous large outbuildings along Tracy Lane and Tracy Road. Four residents were killed in three separate mobile homes in this area and four others were hurt. Several horses and farm animals were killed as well. The tornado continued northeast through heavily wooded country into Monroe County, where it dissipated near Fountain Run.
At first it appeared the second tornado continued across northern Monroe County, since debris was found for many miles beyond Fountain Run. However, further investigation revealed that the debris in northern Monroe County had actually been deposited there by the first tornado three hours earlier!
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Click here to see our radar imagery for this storm.
Page Updated: 4/8/2008 10:15 AM EDT