Tornado Path - Cedar, Polk and Dallas counties of Southwest Mo. including the city of Stockton
Sunday May 4th, 2003
F-Scale: F3 at Stockton
Path Length: ~83 miles long Width: 1/4 to 1/2 mile Time: 531 - 742 p.m.
This summary is for the tornado that moved from northeast Barton County across Cedar and Polk Counties into Dallas County, including the City of Stockton.
The tornado initially touched down just east of Liberal, MO in Barton County as an F-1. The tornado produced F1 damage to some out buildings and uprooted numerous trees as it moved across the northeastern portion of the county. The storm then entered Cedar county near the Vernon-Barton-Cedar County line northwest of Jerico Springs. The tornado passed to the north of Jerico Springs staying in mainly rural areas. The storm caused roof damage to several homes in the area and destroyed at least one mobile home in this area prompting an F-2 rating.
The storm continued to down power lines and cause tree damage until it reached the intersection of Highway Z and County Road 825. Here the tornado completely destroyed a frame house and two out buildings sweeping debris across the road. This house did appear to have the walls anchored to the foundation warranting an F3 rating. From there, the tornado entered the town of Stockton and passed just to the north of the county courthouse through the city park. At this point the tornado was estimated to be between one-half and three-quarters of a mile wide. Two fatalities occurred in downtown Stockton.
Damage within the town of Stockton was extensive with numerous buildings destroyed or damaged within the downtown area. Two cars from a local dealership were also blown approximately one block to the northeast. Survey of the most extensively damaged buildings was indicative of a high F-3 rating. The tornado proceeded east-northeast of Stockton for about three miles where a two-story frame house had the roof and approximately two-thirds of the upper story destroyed. In addition, a van had been blown onto the road and a pickup truck was flipped over in the ditch also warranting a high F-3 rating.
From this point until the tornado exited the county about two miles northwest of Dunnegan, it remained over mainly rural areas causing damage to trees and power lines. When the storm did come in contact with homes, damage to roofs and exterior walls was noted. A mobile home was blown off its foundation and destroyed prompting an F-2 rating within this area.
In Polk County, two miles north of Dunnegan, a dairy farm sustained high F-1 damage, with trees sheared off and barn roofs blown off. It appeared at this point the tornado briefly became elevated since the tops of trees right up against a well constructed house were sheared off yet the roof of the house remained intact with little damage. Four miles southeast of Humansville, a frame house sustained F-2 damage losing a roof and at least two outside walls. The tornado path remained unbroken through northeast Polk County. The damage path was wide, about 300 to 400 yards from one mile south of Rondo to the Mohawk Corner area. High F-1 damage was observed about one-half mile west of Mohawk Corner where one exterior wall was destroyed on a frame house and several barns were destroyed.
The storm initially entered Dallas county near the Hickory-Polk-Dallas County line southwest of Urbana. At this point, the storm appears to be two tornados running parallel to each other about a quarter of a mile apart. The northern storm was about 200-300 yards wide while the southern storm was about 100 yards wide. Two fatalities occurred in theTunas area.
From the entry point until it reached U.S. Highway 65, damage was confined to the tops of trees being snapped or uprooted. As the northern storm crossed Highway 65, it destroyed three mobile homes throwing debris northeastward across the road warranting an F-2 rating. Both tornados remained over rural areas producing tree damage. The southern storm also took the roof off an equipment shed. The southern storm is rated F-1 between Highway 65 and County Road U while the northern storm remains an F-2.
The southern storm appeared to have dissipated near County Road U. As the northern storm crossed County Road U, it destroyed a mobile home. In addition, the trees across the road were stripped of leaves and many small branches. The tornado then began taking a more eastward track running parallel to Judges Branch Road with a width of about one-quarter mile. Two frame homes along this road sustained damage to the roof and exterior walls and three mobile homes were completely destroyed.
The tornado next encountered two frame homes as it crossed State Highway 73. The brick home had most of the outside walls destroyed while the frame home across the road had the outside walls destroyed on the south and west sides. Also noted at this point was that a compact car was picked up and flipped across the road. Based on this damage, the storm was rated an F-3.
The storm then continued for approximately three miles crossing County Road T south of Lead Mine. Here the tornado caused some roof damage to one home for an F-1 rating at this point. The tornado appears to have dissipated about a half mile east of this point just inside the Lead Mine Conservation area. The total path length of the tornado path was about 83 miles long.