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Tornado that ripped through Piner upgraded to EF4

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Tornado Track Map from the National Weather Service. The part marked in purple is where the tornado reached EF4 levels Tornado Track Map from the National Weather Service. The part marked in purple is where the tornado reached EF4 levels

(FOX19) - The National Weather Service has upgraded the tornado that caused significant damage to the Piner area of Kentucky to an EF4.

According to the NWS, the tornado was upgraded after examining additional photos and receiving other details from the Kenton County Sheriff's Office.

What follows is the summary provided from the National Weather Service:

The damage in Grant County...specifically in the Harvesters subdivision...remains in the low to mid EF3 category...as at least some exterior and most interior walls were standing where the
damage was the worst. This occurred at the west end of Barley Circle. Most of the damage in the subdivision was EF1 to EF2.

Immediately as the tornado crossed from west to east of Interstate 75...the storm strengthened to EF4 level with winds estimated at 175 mph. While a total of five single family homes were destroyed to their foundations in the area...at least two of these homes met the
EF4 criteria of sufficient foundation strapping/bolting.

All 4 fatalities with this tornado occurred within the area of EF4 level damage.

The EF4 level damage was found from the west side of Interstate 75 to the north end of Old Lexington Pike...where 2 homes and multiple outbuildings were completely destroyed. Both homes were brick structures with foundation bolting or strapping. The EF4 level winds continued across Route 25/Dixie Highway...and ended near the Bagby Road area. At least 2 vehicles were carried...with one carried over 1800 feet. Trees were stripped of nearly all branches...with much of the bark also stripped.

As the storm headed further to the east northeast...high end EF3 damage continued through other properties along Bagby Road...to Carlisle...Parker Grove and Paxton Roads. Numerous double and single wide homes were destroyed....with both brick and siding structures left with collapsed exterior walls and either all or a large percentage of roof removal.

The width of tornado damage was roughly one half mile.

The storm continued the east northeast path into southeast Kenton County...to the Licking River near Morning View. Damage in the Morning View area was consistent with EF1 to EF2 damage to the Campbell County line.

In addition to the path of the tornado itself...there was a wide area of straight line /non-tornadic/ winds estimated in excess of 100 mph along the southern edge of the tornado path. This damage resulted in numerous barns and outbuildings destroyed...with hundreds of trees snapped or pushed over...as well as widespread roof damage.

With the combination of the damage from the tornado itself and the rear flank downdraft damage....total damage swath reached as much as a mile wide in some locations.

EF4 winds can reach 166 to 200 mph. EF3 winds can reach 136 to 165 mph.

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