CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Feb. 24, 2018, nine tornadoes touched down in the News 2 viewing area in northern Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.
Two of those tornadoes touched down in the Clarksville area.
An EF-2 tornado with 125 mph winds tore through the Farmington and Belle Parc subdivisions. Four homes and two duplexes were completely destroyed. That tornado touched down in eastern Clarksville on Dunbar Cave Road and moved east-northeast across Interstate 24 north of Rossview Road before ending on Kirkwood Road.
Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency Director Ed Baggett was on the scene that night.
“The first thing when we arrived on the scene, the first call we got was a heavy smell of gas,” Baggett explained. “Of course, there’s natural gas in the subdivision. So then we had gas and water on the scene here checking all of that. They got here and got the gas shut off, got the water shut off.
He was also happy to see that there were no serious injuries at that location.
A few minutes prior to that, just to the west, the same storm line had produced an EF-1 tornado with 105 mph winds in the Dotsonville area. That tornado began along Dotsonville Road at Bradley A. Martin Road and moved northeast. The tornado downed several trees and caused damage to multiple homes in the Deepwood Estate subdivision.
To the north in Hopkinsville, three tornadoes were confirmed. One of them, an EF-1 tornado with 135 mph winds produced this damage on the south side of town where nine people were injured. In that tornado, three apartment buildings were destroyed with the roof and most walls were blown down on the second story.
At least four retail buildings sustained major roof and siding damage with windows and doors blown in or broken.
Unfortunately, there was one fatality in Logan County, Kentucky from an EF-2 tornado. A 79-year-old woman was killed when the chimney and wall of her house collapsed on top of her as she tried to make it to safety in her basement.
But the next day in Clarksville, the Tennessee volunteer spirit was in full swing.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department helped transport volunteers to the damaged areas.
“They would come in and spend several hours helping clean up,” Baggett explained. “They would transport them back out and bring twenty more in. And they kept that going throughout the process, especially on Sunday. Sunday was an awesome day of cleanup. This house that was completely destroyed, they cleaned it up totally on Sunday.”
There were also EF-1 tornadoes near Adams, TN in Robertson County, and in far southeast Warren County, KY that evening.
Five years ago, Feb. 24 was a day people in northern Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky will never forget.