As always, click the pix for full size…all images originally appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal and are scanned from our vertical files…
Yesterday, Dave Owen Y’all posted a picture of his mother’s “I survived the tornado” t-shirt…here, for those unfortunate enough to have missed it, is the story behind the t-shirt…on May 5, 1989 a total of 16 tornadoes struck in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, causing $169 million in damage, three deaths and 168 injuries. Three of those hit Forsyth County, NC. A tornado watch was issued for most of NC at about 5:30 PM EDT. But actual tornado warnings (a confirmed tornado on the ground) came too late for most of the area.
#1 F2 Caused damage in Farmington, crossed the river and struck Clemmons about 8:45 PM EDT. On the ground for roughly one mile. Three injured.
#2 F3 Touched down in southwest Winston-Salem at 8:50 PM EDT, ran through Ardmore and Old Salem. On the ground for eleven miles. Most of the trees on Salem Square were destroyed, as well as some in God’s Acre, and buildings damaged at Salem Academy & College. $25 million in insurance costs and 30 injured.
#3 F2 Struck Smith Reynolds Airport about 9:05 PM EDT and continued on the ground for six miles through Walkertown. Thirty tied down aircraft were tossed as far as fifty yards and two hangars were destroyed.
Total for Forsyth County was about $30 million in damage, zero deaths and 33 injured. Much of the money damage was caused by wind sheer rather than the actual tornadoes. Danger continued for some time after the storm because of downed live power lines in the area. Lack of deaths attributable to sheer luck.
Here is a link to Wesley Young’s more detailed account in the W-S Journal, May, 2014, with some pictures: