LOOKOUT VALLEY, Tennessee (WDEF) – We remember the killer tornadoes that hit the Tennessee Valley in the afternoon and evening of April 27th, 2011.
But the day started violently, much earlier.
In the first hours of daylight, several smaller tornadoes and straight line winds had already mangled power lines in the area.
So many residents never heard the warnings that came later in the day.
In fact, 7 EF-0 & EF-1 tornadoes were recorded in Hamilton County that day, hitting Red Bank, St. Elmo, East Ridge, Ridgeside, Birchwood & Ooltewah.
The first of the larger tornadoes came barreling out of Dade County and touched down in Lookout Valley at 8:55 AM.
This was an EF-2 storm, with 110 mph winds, 500 yards wide, stretching 1.5 miles.
It tore through dozens of homes south of Cummings Highway, crossed the highway, hit a mini-strip mall of business and kept going to the Tennessee River.
Thankfully, no inuries or deaths were recorded here.
This was the most damage Chattanooga had scene since the Easter tornado in the 1990s.
But that record would only last a few hours for Hamilton County.