Google Earth Imagery Updates: Tornadoes

Google recently updated the ‘historical imagery’ layer and on Tuesday we had a look at a couple of floods visible in the fresh imagery. Today we are looking at a number of tornadoes in the United States.

Elk City, Oklahoma.
On May 16th, 2017, an EF2 tornado caused major damage across the southern fringes of Elk City, Oklahoma causing one death and a number of injuries. Google Earth has a DigitalGlobe image captured just four days later.

Damaged houses in Elk City.

Interesting patterns in the fields caused by the tornado.

See the tornado and resulting damage from the ground in this YouTube video.

Eustace / Canton, Texas (two tornadoes).
On April 29th, 2017, two tornadoes occurred near Canton, Texas. See Wikipedia for a full description. We had a look at these tornadoes in May using Sentinel-2 imagery. Now there is higher resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe, captured just 6 days after the event. See below the paths of the tornadoes as far as we were able to track them in Google Earth imagery. The actual paths were longer and according to Wikipedia, the two eastern tracks shown was a single continuous tornado.

Destruction caused by the Canton / Fruitville tornado.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Adel, Georgia.
These were part of an outbreak of 81 tornadoes, the second-largest January tornado outbreak and the third-largest winter tornado outbreak since 1950, causing 20 deaths and US$1.3 billion in damage.

Although the Hattiesburg, Mississippi tornado occurred on January 21st, 2017, only part of its track has recent imagery. However, we were able to find the track in the imagery that exists. The tornado near Adel, Georgia occurred on January 22nd, and the imagery is from May 27th, 2017, four months later, but the track is still visible and the severe damage to Sunshine Acres mobile home park can be seen below:

Sunshine Acres mobile home park, Adel, Georgia.

According to Wikipedia, of the park’s roughly 100 homes, 45 were destroyed — 35 of which were obliterated. Although we don’t count that many structures, it is possible that many buildings were duplexes.

For the tracks of all the above tornadoes as far as we were able to trace them, download this KML file.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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