EF-1 Tornado Confirmed In Wilkes County: On The Ground For 9 Minutes

Terran Kirksey talks about the EF-1 tornado in Wilkes Co.

WILKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Wilkes County is still experiencing thousands of power outages after an EF-1 tornado struck the county Monday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed Tuesday that the EF-1 tornado with maximum wind speeds of 104 mph hit the county. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the Duke Energy online power outage map reported 8,666 were still without power. Wilkes County Schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Related: Clean-Up Process Begins After Wilkes County Hit Hard By Storm Damage


The NWS surveyed an area in the central part of the county running from Highway 421 all the way to Alleghany County and in Virginia. 

Related: Tornado Watch Cancelled, Timeline Of Storm Damage

The tornado hit at 5:11 pm near the intersection of East Main Street and Salem Street in Wilkesboro. The tornado traveled 8 miles on the ground around 50 mph as it tore through Cherry Street in North Wilkesboro. It continued north and finally lifted on Yellow Banks Road. The tornado lifted into Alleghany County along the and near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The tornado also touched down in Grayson County.

Detailed Tornado Info.

  • Location...Wilkes County North Carolina Date...October 23 2017
  • Estimated Time...511 PM - 520 PM EDT Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
  • Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...104 MPH Maximum Path Width...275 Yards Yards Path Length...8.0 miles
  • Location...Grayson County Virginia
  • Date...October 23 2017
  • Estimated Time...547 PM EDT
  • Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
  • Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...104 MPH
  • Maximum Path Width...150 Yards
  • Path Length...0.33 miles

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This is the second tornado to hit Wilkes County in the last two weeks.

Related: EF-1 Tornado Confirmed in Wilkes & Ashe Counties; First in Ashe County History

An EF-1 tornado hit both Wilkes & Ashe Counties on October 8. The tornado with 105 mph winds tore through both counties before falling apart.  It was one of several tornadoes that struck western North Carolina due to tropical system Nate.

It was the first reported tornado in Ashe County history.

The Wilkes County tornado that hit on Monday marks the 7th tornado to hit the county according to records that date back to 1950.

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