What Damage Does a Tornado Do?


Quick Answer

The damage a tornado can do varies on the size, strength and location. A mile-wide tornado with 200-mph winds can level an entire town, whereas a small tornado with 80-mph winds in an unpopulated area may cause no damage at all.

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Full Answer

Some examples of the damage tornadoes can cause include leveling homes, flipping mobile homes upside down, toppling large trees, picking up cars and dropping them miles away from their original location, and pushing metal shards into tree trunks. The worst damage a tornado can cause, however, is to the lives of the people involved, since injuries and fatalities are common when a tornado hits.

One example of the damage a large tornado can do is the April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Ala., tornado. The size of the tornado was over a mile wide, and the tornado reached wind speeds of 210 mph, according to the National Weather Service. A total of 72 people lost their lives in Hackleburg. Many of the homes in the town were destroyed, as well as businesses, several schools and a Wrangler factory. It was reported that jeans from the factory were found over 50 miles away. Parts of several roads were picked up and thrown by the tornado.

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