GREENSBORO, NC -- A violent tornado carved a path of destruction for more than 30 miles through the Piedmont on Sunday. The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that one tornado did the damage in both Guilford and Rockingham Counties.
In total, at least 10 people were hurt by the tornado; 7 in Rockingham, and 3 in Greensboro. One fatality happened in Guilford County Sunday from a falling tree, but this was actually miles away from the tornado path.
The tornado touched down just north of I-40 near Willow Road. From there, it ravaged the neighborhoods near Peeler Elementary and Hampton Elementary Schools. At peak strength, the storm was 1/4 mile wide, packing winds of 135 mph. That's a strong EF-2 tornado, almost an EF-3.
The tornado continued to track through Greensboro, staying east of US-29. It moved north across Market St, Wendover Ave, all the way north through Hicone Rd, and to the Rockingham County border, weakening only slightly along the awy. It was on the ground for 16 miles in Guilford County.
In Rockingham County, the storm packed a strong punch for 17.6 miles. Peak winds were estimated at 125 mph by the National Weather Service, as wide as 1/8 mi at times.
This is an exceptionally strong tornado, and long-track tornado for our area. The average tornado length in North Carolina is 5 miles. The last tornado we saw in our area that was stronger was an EF-3 tornado that hit High Point in 2010.