Eight years since the Stuarts Draft tornado

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HARRISONBURG , Va. (WHSV) — April 16th marks the 8th anniversary of a destructive tornado that tore through Stuarts Draft.

Eight years ago on this date at 12:20 in the afternoon, an EF-0 tornado touched down in Augusta County.

The tornado began roughly 2 miles southwest of Stuarts Draft and continued for about 4 miles passing just to the west of Stuarts Draft.

The EF-0 tornado caused extensive damage to 37 structures and downed numerous trees and power lines. Houses were not recognizable and debris was scattered all over the place.

Damage also included large trees falling on houses.The Cranberry Hills subdivision was hit particularly hard.

The National Weather Service estimated that this tornado had a maximum wind speed of around 95 miles per hour.

The destruction left behind was shocking to many in the Valley.
Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities were reported with this event.

The National Weather Service estimated that there were $2.2 milliom worth of damage in those areas.

That day brought a lot of severe weather and there were multiple reports of wind damage across the area, large hail, and flooding.
Two people died in Waynesboro due to flooding. The two were attempting to cross the washed out Kirby Ave. bridge when they were swept away by rushing flood water.

On the same day, 12 tornadoes touched down across the state. An EF-0 tornado touched down in Vesuvius in Rockbridge county. The storm system was a three day event that resulted in 178 tornadoes in 15 states.

This was the deadliest tornado outbreak since the Super Tuesday outbreak in 2008. Unfortunately, a much larger outbreak was to come just a few weeks later. Which is why this outbreak on April 14-16, 2011 is referred to as the "forgotten" outbreak.

The April 25-28, tornado outbreak killed 324 people and was one of the largest outbreaks is U.S. history with 360 tornadoes.


Confirmed tornadoes from the April 14-16, 2011 tornado outbreak. Photo: National Weather Service
The 4 mile path of the Stuarts Draft tornado in 2011.