NWS: Tornado Sweeps through Union City, More Flash Floods and Severe Storms Predicted

Apr 28, 2014

Storm Damage near Union City
Credit Photo courtesy of Gibson EMC

UPDATE - Tuesday, 6:00am: The National Weather Service is postponing damage assessment of a tornado near Union City last night. NWS teams out of Memphis are going to be rescheduled due to the threat of even more severe weather today. A tornado was reported in north Obion County yesterday around 5:15 pm just behind the Goodyear Tire Plant off the Highway 51 bypass. 6 to 8 homes are reported to be destroyed. The storm also caused outages to about 1,100 Gibson Electric Membership Corporation members’ homes and businesses in and around Union City. Several poles are broken and wires are down. Gibson EMC’s crews are working to restore power, but the Corp says repairs will be time intensive and Members on life-support equipment may need to make alternate arrangements. Gibson EMC is a member-controlled cooperative serving 35,000 members in Northwest Tennessee.

A record rainfall of 1.55 inches was set at Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah last night. This breaks the old record of 1.43 set in 1977. Scattered thunderstorms will be possible throughout the region throughout the day. The most likely areas for development will be in southern Illinois and across much of western Kentucky. A few storms may reach severe levels over the Pennyrile region. Damaging winds and large hail will be the primary concerns, while minor flooding is forecasted to develop along a few area rivers. 

UPDATE - Monday, 3:00pm: The risk of hazardous weather remains in the forecast for our listening area through this afternoon and tonight.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the entire area until 1 a.m. tonight as forecasted storms are expected to carry heavy amounts of rain over already saturated and flood-prone areas. 

Several inches of rain have already covered and damaged some roadways in our region.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Calloway County crews have recorded about four inches of rain since 1 a.m. this morning.  Highway officials discourage driving through water-covered roadways as it only takes as little as six inches of water to sweep a car off the road.  

NWS Meteorologist Pat Spoden says new storms forming just west of St. Louis and in northeast Arkansas and western Tennessee have a strong chance moving northeast and into southeast Missouri and western Kentucky. 

UPDATE - Monday, 7:00am: A flash flood watch is in effect through Monday morning for Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri. Drivers are cautioned never to drive into areas where water covers the road. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Keith Todd reports standing water over Kentucky 94 East between mile markers 13 and 14 and Kentucky 121 near the New Concord Bottom. The National Weather Service reports there is a continuing slight risk of severe thunderstorms though this afternoon over most areas east of the Mississippi River, following storms that began last night . Large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes will be possible. Locally heavy rain will also accompany any thunderstorms that develop. Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast again for tomorrow in locations east of the Mississippi River.This could lead to flash flooding in areas that received heavy rainfall all last night.  Most of tomorrow’s  activity should remain below severe levels. 

UPDATE - Sunday, 6:20 pm: There's an 80% chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday night and Monday. Some storms could be severe and produce heavy rainfall. Winds range from 11 to 15 miles per hour, gusting up to 21. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch through Monday morning for areas primarily west of Land Between the Lakes. Storms could bring rainfall between 1 to 2 inches per hour, up to 3 inches in some places. Periods of showers and thunderstorms will continue through Tuesday, some storms may be severe with heavy rainfall possible. Temperatures will stay in the mid 70s during the day, 60s at night.

Previous Story: According to NWS Meteorologist Rick Shankin, scattered storms will likely move into our region Sunday afternoon, increasing in severity into the evening and overnight hours.  There is a significant threat of tornados and large hail starting Sunday and lasting through early Tuesday.  Monday will see a continuation of those storms with high and potentially damaging winds.  These conditions will begin to taper off late Monday and early Tuesday for the western-most parts of the Four Rivers region and later Tuesday for most of the Pennyrile.  Shanklin says rainfall totals will range from approximately 2.5 inches in southern Illinois to about 3.5 further south at the Kentucky/Tennessee state line.  WKMS will bring you more information on this weather situation as it becomes available.

The entire WKMS region is slated to receive multiple rounds of potentially significant severe storms and flash flooding. National Weather Service forecasters say the storm systems are likely to begin Sunday evening and conclude into Tuesday.

NWS meteorologist Dan Spaeth says low-level moisture from the Gulf combined with strong winds from the southwest moving into our listening area are expected to produce severe storms consisting of strong long-tracking tornadoes, flash flooding and golf ball-sized hail.

The event is expected to occur Sunday night or early Monday but has a strong chance of recycling through Tuesday causing multiple rounds of severe storms over several days. The recycling nature of the storms causes a high risk of flash flooding in low lying areas and water adjacent areas. 

We will have more specifics on the timing and severity of the weather after a conference call this afternoon.