April 21, 2002 4:00 PM
An intense tornado cut a 20 mile long swath across Jefferson and Wayne County, Illinois, causing the first tornado-related death of the year. While this is a late date for the first death, it is not a record.
The latest date for a killer tornado in our records is May 6th in the year 1900. Fairly complete records extend back to the work of the Army Signal Corps in 1875. Official Weather Service records date back to just 1950.
The tornado this day destroyed many rural homes and barns, and ripped apart the small town of Sims. It hit a van that was carrying 11 people home from church. All were injured, with two children left in critical condition. As many as 50 people may have been injured in the storm. Thirty were treated at hospitals.
A 47-year-old man was found dead in his collapsed trailer near Wayne City. The trailer was moved about 30 feet from its foundation. The following sites offer additional information:
This weekend outbreak of about 35 tornadoes caused six deaths. Most of the tornadoes moved from west to east.
April 28, 2002 12:45 AM F3
The earliest killer tornado in the outbreak caused a death when it hit a subdivision southwest of Marble Hill, Bollinger County, Missouri. About a dozen homes were completely destroyed and 16 people were injured. A 12-year-old boy on a sleep-over with a friend was killed when the trailer was torn apart and collapsed. No one else in the residence was seriously injured.
April 28, 2002 1:33 AM
A second night-time tornado damaged 25 homes at Dongola, Union County, Illinois. An elderly woman was killed in the collapse of her mobile home.
April 28, 2002 3:00 AM
This intense tornado cut a long path across northern Kentucky, briefly crossing the Ohio River and hitting Tobinsport, Indiana. At Tobinsport, a dozen people were injured and 10 homes were destroyed. Some people were awakened by a loud roar, only to find themselves with no house around them. Further to the east, 30 homes were damaged at Irvington, Kentucky. A 50-year-old man was killed when his trailer was thrown 50 feet. He was found alive, under a tree, but died shortly afterwards. Irvington is just a few miles south of Brandenburg, where 31 people were killed by a tornado in the Super Outbreak on April 3, 1974.
April 28, 2002 7:00 PM
A massive tornadic storm caused $115,000,000 damage across Charles and Calvert Counties in southern Maryland. Three people were killed and 122 others were injured by the F4 tornado. In La Plata, 65% of the buildings were destroyed in the downtown area. The first death occurred 5 miles east of La Plata, when a 51-year-old man was killed in the destruction of a house under construction. At Patuxent View, Calvert County, an elderly man and woman died in the destruction of their home, which had no foundation or anchoring. The home was picked up and thrown 80 feet into a ravine. Two other people died from heart attacks, but they are not counted in the official total. This tornado was initially rated at F5, but was reduced to F4 after an experienced survey team studied the damage. Nearly a thousand buildings were damaged or destroyed in this storm.
Maryland's deadliest tornado occurred at a school in La Plata on November 9, 1926. Fourteen students died at the school, and three people were killed in nearby homes. The 1926 and 2002 paths probably crossed, so that one area was affected by both tornadoes. A plaque and historic marker in La Plata mark the location of the destroyed school.
May 5, 2002 6:30 PM
A large, dusty, strong(F2-F3)tornado swept across the south and east sides of the small town of Happy, in Swisher County, Texas. About 30 buildings were destroyed. Two people died in the destruction of their mobile home. Their 10-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition.
The tornado formed rapidly from a dryline supercell in the Texas Panhandle. The storm was in view of large numbers of stormchasers. Included among them was Bill Reid. An account is here. Bill has supplied several videos for Tornado Video Classics, including the famous Last Chance, Colorado, tornado in TVC II. Another chaser who was present was Dr Paul Sirvatka, a meteorology professor at the College of Dupage, who has posted a photo here.
May 7, 2002 2:30 AM
An F1 tornado struck without warning at the southeast edge of Centralia, Illinois. Ten mobile homes were destroyed, and one frame home was severely damaged. A man and woman were killed in one of the trailers. Ten other people were injured. No sirens were sounded because the thunderstorm showed no indication of a dangerous mesocyclone on Doppler radar.
October 24, 2002 2:45 CDT
Three tornadoes touched down in the Corpus Christi, TX area. About 30 people were injured and about 100 were made homeless. One of the funnels cut across the West Campus of Del Mar College, killing one person and injuring 14. The fatality was a 72-year-old adjunct math instructor who died in the college library. The library roof was lifted and a wall collapsed onto him.
October 28, 2002 4:OO AM CST
At Chataignier, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, an early morning tornado lifted a mobile home, carried it 200 yards, and smashed it into a pile of rubble. Two of the occupants were killed and 5 were injured.
November 5, 2002 6:00 PM CST
A tornado disrupted the election process in Abbeville, Alabama. The funnel ripped apart homes, businesses, and the high school in the downtown area. One person died as a large tree crashed through the house. About 25 others were injured.
November 10, 2002 12:45 AM CST
Shortly after midnight, a tornado dipped into Carroll County, Tennessee, destroying a mobile home between Terry and McGlemoresville. One person was killed and four were injured.
November 10, 2002 1:10 AM CST
A night-time tornado touched down 13 miles east of Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. Two people were killed in the destruction of a mobile home.
November 10, 2002 3:00 PM CST
A possible F4 tornado ripped apart homes and an industrial park in the northwest part of Van Wert, Ohio. Two people were killed and 19 were injured. A theater with 50 people inside was completely destroyed. Timely tornado warnings allowed the management to evacuate the seats and shelter people in bathrooms and hallways. Vehicles landed in the seats, but no one was injured.
November 10, 2002 3:15 PM CST
Two people were killed when a trailer was destroyed 3 miles west of Continental, Putnam County, Ohio. This event was probably related to the Van Wert tornado.
November 10, 2002 4:25 PM CST
A home collapsed near Republic, Seneca County, Ohio. One person was killed and two were injured.
November 10, 2002 7:45 PM EST
The town of Clark, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, was hit by a tornado. Four homes were leveled and an elderly man was killed. Nineteen people were injured.
November 10, 2002 7:45 PM CST
In Lowndes County, Mississippi, one man was killed when a tornado threw his trailer 150 feet. The same tornado, or one in the same family, destroyed dozens of buildings at Columbus.
November 10, 2002 8:10 PM CST
A tornado destroyed two mobile home parks, 3 homes and a church north of Manchester, Coffey County, Tennessee. Two people were killed and 19 were injured.
November 10, 2002 8:30 PM CST
An intense tornado or family of tornadoes cut a swath across Cumberland and Morgan Counties in Tennessee. Four people died near Crossville in Cumberland County as home were destroyed in several small communities. Mossy Grove, Morgan County, 40 miles west of Knoxville, was devastated. More than half of the two dozen homes were reduced to piles of rubble. At least 7 people were killed there, and 28 were injured. Two others died near Petros.
November 10, 2002 8:50 PM CST
About one third of the town of Carbon Hill, Walker County, Alabama, was completely destroyed. At least 11 people were killed and 50 were injured. The tornado ripped through the very center of town.
December 17, 2002 11:00 PM CST
Several late-night tornadoes touched down between Joplin and Springfield, Missouri. In Lawrence County, a tornado hit the small town of Chesapeake, destroying much of the Lucky Lady Trailer Park. About a dozen people were injured, but no one was killed. Southeast of the trailer park, a 47-year-old woman was killed as her double-wide mobile home was blown apart. She was thrown 100 yards from the home site. Her husband was thrown 200 yards and severely injured.
December 18, 2002 2:00 AM CST
After destroying homes in northern Jasper County, a tornado struck a mobile home near Kenoma, in Barton County, Missouri. One person was killed in the trailer. Nothing was left on the home site except some debris and two parked cars.
December 18, 2002 4:35 PM CST
Between Hamlet and Enola, Faulkner County, Arkansas, an 84-year-old woman was carried 800 feet to her death as a tornado struck her mobile home. A total of 13 people were injured as homes were detroyed along Route 36. The next day, a tornado ripped through the town of Newton, Mississippi, tearing apart a Wal-Mart store. About 50 people were injured.