HICKORY – An EF-2 tornado touched down near the Hickory Regional Airport in extreme eastern Burke County Monday that traveled nearly 23 miles across five counties, according to National Weather Service reports.
After destroying a hangar and planes within airport grounds, the tornado continued northeast straddling the Caldwell/Catawba County line. An EF-2 tornado is classified as having winds between 111 to 135 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service estimated in its report that wind speeds of the twister reached up to 125 miles per hour.
The storm then weakened to an EF-1, wreaking havoc on either side of Lake Hickory. “Significant tree damage occurred with hundreds of trees downed, many on houses, cars, and other structures,” the report states.
“Additional tree damage occurred outside the tornado's path due to widespread intense straight-line winds.”
An EF-1 tornado is classified as having winds between 86 and 110 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
The tornado then turned left and narrowed, straddling the Alexander/Caldwell County line, resulting in tree damage and structural damage from falling trees.
The twister shifted back northeast, before finally weakening and lifting just south of the Alexander/Wilkes County line, according to the report.
For more information about the storm and surrounding areas, go to www.weather.gov/gsp.