The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has released a detailed report concerning the tornado that touched down in Saltlick Township last Thursday.
According to the NWS, the tornado touched down in Acme at 1:54 p.m. as survey crews noted damage on Bear Rocks Road consisting of large branch snaps and uprooted trees.
The tornado, which had an estimated width of 100 yards, continued along Grandview Road toward Mount Zion Church Road in Acme with similar tree damage reported.
Along Mount Zion Church Road, the NWS reported that the tornado gained strength, causing minor damage to a roof and a deck and then crossed a field, snapped a few apple trees and caused minor damage to a barn.
The tornado was classified as an EF1, which contains wind speeds from 86 to 110 mph.
Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the NWS Pittsburgh, said EF0 and EF1 tornadoes are the most common in the northeastern part of the United States.
“An EF0 is still enough to rip the roof off your house,” he said. EF0 tornadoes have wind speeds between 45 and 65 mph.
Between 1950 to 2020, Hendricks said 11 tornadoes have touched down in Fayette County, including one in Uniontown in 2018 that caused widespread damage in the city and neighboring townships.
“An EF3 is a rarity in the northeast,” Henricks said, noting EF3 tornadoes made up 3% percent of those reported in Fayette in the last 70 years. “It’s been nearly 10 years since an EF2 tornado.”
Last week’s tornado caused the most intense damage along Kessler School Road in Saltlick Township.
NWS reported that, along with tree damage, a manufactured shed was tossed about 20 feet, and a manufactured garage had a partial wall collapse and its roof blown off.
The NWS noted the garage’s foundation bolts were not ripped from the concrete pad, and the garage’s roof did not appear to be well attached. Although the wind speeds were higher in some spots, the NWS reported that the garage was damaged from winds between 100 to 105 mph.
The NWS report also stated that winds between 90 and 95 mph caused a storage building to topple over on its side, but indicated it was sitting unattached on cinder blocks.
The report continued to detail that the tornado continued across a hill and County Line and Hellen School roads, noting the tornado possibly briefly lifted as no damage was found in that area during Friday’s survey.
The last evidence of damage, the NWS reported, was along Mountain View Road, with the tornado then dissipating in the woods along Mount Olive Road in Donegal around 2:03 p.m. after traveling 4.9 miles.
No injuries or fatalities were reported.