Late in the day on April 9, 2009, a powerful storm front swept through the Great Plains, giving birth to tornadoes in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. Three people were killed by one in Mena, Arkansas. The storms moved east all night, and entered Tennessee the next day, Good Friday.
The system generated 85 confirmed tornadoes in 11 states, but the most powerful, rated EF-4 in intensity and with winds of 170 mph, tore through Rutherford County and the city of Murfreesboro, leaving a 23-mile long trail of destruction.
The tornado claimed two lives, the first such fatalities in the county despite 27 previous twisters that have hit since 1950, according to the National Weather Service. That two lives were lost is tragic; that only two were lost is miraculous given the extent of destruction. Hundreds of homes were destroyed or badly damaged, and 42 people were injured, some severely.
There was also an EF-1 tornado near Pleasant View south of Murfreesboro that damaged several houses.
This project was assembled in the Spring of 2010 as a one-year remembrance of this event. The tabs above will show the tornado’s path across the county and will also show which neighborhoods were hit hardest. There will also be links to stories of residents who lived through the destruction.