On April 24th, 2010 warm air and moisture surged into the region supporting a severe weather event. This unstable air was funneled in from the south during the 23rd and 24th. With plenty of wind shear, turning of winds at different levels of the atmosphere supports tornadic development. A strong low-pressure system passed to the north of the region but the shortwave trough associated with it tracked through our region.
Instability, lift, and wind shear created a favorable environment for severe storms to develop. Storms began firing up in northwest Alabama during the afternoon hours. As these storms tracked eastward, they encountered a favorable environment allowing them to rapidly intensify. Supercells that tracked across northern Alabama produced heavy rainfall, hail, gusty winds, and even tornadoes. Four strong tornadoes touched down that day in our area, one of those being an EF4 tornado. In total, 12 touched down in Alabama with 52 individuals sustaining injuries.
Along with a destructive EF4 tornado in DeKalb County, there was a long-track EF3 tornado that tracked through Blount, Marshall, and DeKalb counties. The tornado touched down in Blount County, near the Marshall/Blount County line at 10:05 pm. The tornado then tracked 41 miles through Marshall and DeKalb counties before lifting near the Fort Payne community at 11:05 pm. Structural damage to businesses and homes was found in downtown Albertville. Peak winds for this tornado were estimated to be 140 mph.
Later that night, the same cell produced a second tornado in northeast DeKalb County. This tornado was also an EF3 strength touching down near the Mentone community. It traveled northeast producing a 14-mile-long damage path before crossing over into Chattooga County in Georgia. Several manufactured single-wide homes were destroyed in a trailer park and trees were snapped or uprooted. Peak winds were estimated to be 140 mph.
The most destructive tornado to touch down that day was an EF4 tornado that tracked through DeKalb County. The tornado touched down west of Hendrixville in southern portions of the county and then tracked northeast for just over 16.5 miles. The tornado was on the ground for nearly 30 minutes and produced significant damage in some locations. The tornado lifted near the Dog Town community.
This destructive tornado destroyed a 133-year-old church along with a neighboring residential structure. It was in this area that the tornado was the most intense, with peak winds estimated to have been 170 mph. Along with this damage, numerous trees were uprooted or snapped, and near the Dog Town community, homes sustained structural damage before the tornado lifted. Five individuals were injured but thankfully no fatalities were reported.