NWS: Dallas County Tornado on the Ground for 22 Miles

Tornado Raw Video 011223

View of the tornado as it could be seen from the Selma Walmart Supercenter, Thursday, January 12, 2023 – Alabama News Network

National Weather Service survey teams are releasing more details about the tornado that hit Dallas County last Thursday.

The tornado is rated as an EF-2 storm with peak winds estimated at 130mph. It was on the ground for about 22 miles, with a peak width of 800 yards, which is nearly a half-mile.

Two people were injured in the tornado in Dallas County.

The tornado touched down near Orrville and moved through Selma before lifting at Burnsville. The tornado was on the ground for 27 minutes, from 12:04PM to 12:31PM CST.


The tornado began just east of Orrville near the intersection of Highway 22 and Cahaba Road. As it moved northeast, it intensified as the damage path was nearly parallel with Highway 22. The damage consisted of mainly uprooted trees with trunks that were snapped.

There were also several manufactured homes that sustained roof and some foundation damage.

As the tornado continued down Hwy 22, additional tree damage was observed as it neared the southwestern sections of Selma. The tornado quickly intensified as it entered the city limits of Selma, nearly parallel to Hwy 22/West Dallas Avenue.

The main damage indicators used were the uprooted hardwood trees and the snapped softwood trees. Most of the softwood trees were snapped about halfway up on the trunks.

The daycare on West Dallas Avenue and Cooper Drive sustained heavy exterior wall damage and was consistent with the higher-end EF2 wind speeds.

The second area of higher-end EF2 damage was noted downstream at the Selma Country Club where buildings had significant roof and exterior wall damage and there was a complete blow down of extremely large hardwood trees. Additional softwood trees were also snapped in and around adjacent streets.

As the tornado continued further north and east, it entered the northern sections of downtown Selma. Nearly all of the damage continued to consist of mainly trees, with hard and softwood trees uprooted. The homes that sustained damage were observed to have roof material missing or fallen trees that impacted the structure.

Very little damage observed to homes was directly wind related likely due to the sheltering nature of the very large and older trees that were embedded within the historic neighborhoods. However, the tree fall damage remained consistent with high-end EF-1 or low end EF-2.

As the tornado exited downtown, it crossed Highway 14, east of Selma, crossing Parkway Drive. Additional structure damage was noted with exterior walls the were collapsed consistent once again with higher EF-2 wind speeds.

The tornado finally began to weaken and lift,  but not before some significant damage was observed at the Dallas County Jail on Selfield Road.


Categories: News, Saving Selma, West Alabama