Tennessee tornado was 'violent' EF-4 that hit Putnam County with 175 mph winds, left 18 dead

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One of the tornadoes that ripped through Middle Tennessee under the cover of darkness early Tuesday was a "violent" monster that left at least 18 dead in one county, according to officials.
One of the tornadoes that ripped through Middle Tennessee early Tuesday was a "violent" monster that left at least 18 dead in one county, according to officials.

The National Weather Service office in Nashville said Wednesday night the twister that struck Putnam County was an EF-4 tornado with wind up to 175 mph that killed 18 people, injured 88 and left one person missing in that county. Overall, the tornadoes and severe weather are blamed for 24 deaths in the region.

Forecasters said that the Putnam County twister was the first violent tornado in the Middle Tennessee area since April 2009, and the path and width of the storm are expected to be determined in the coming days.

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According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the most common and practical way to determine the strength of a tornado is estimating wind speeds by assessing the damage caused. The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, used since 2007, is the National Weather Service's method to rate tornadoes.

The EF scale uses indicators, including damage to different types of structures such as barns, mobile homes, trees and schools, according to the NWS forecast office in Norman, Okla.

The Storm Prediction Center said tornadoes estimated to be an EF-4 are considered to be "violent,"…
Travis Fedschun
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