UPDATE: NWS confirms EF-0 tornado touchdown in Olin

Unbeknownst to Becky Zimmerman, the tornado was right outside the door of her Highland Street...
Unbeknownst to Becky Zimmerman, the tornado was right outside the door of her Highland Street home.(KCRG)
Published: May. 4, 2018 at 12:22 PM CDT
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The severe weather that rolled through Thursday night spawned a tornado in the tiny town of Olin. It came without an official tornado watch or warning.

The National Weather Service said in a preliminary report the twister was an EF-0, the weakest category, hitting the western edge of town at 11:15 p.m. Winds topped out at an estimated 75 miles per hour.

The tornado only stayed on the ground for about two minutes, traveling a tenth of a mile. It was about 10 yards wide.

Unbeknownst to Becky Zimmerman, it was right outside the door of her Highland Street home. She thought the heavy rain was the worst of it. She was wrong.

"I got up this morning, noticed things were moved," Zimmerman said. "Came around the corner and saw our shed. I'm like, 'It had to get really windy.'"

Not only was a shed smashed against the couple's home, but some of the antiques her husband Ron collects were tossed about. That included an old fire hydrant, weighing more than 100 pounds. It looked to have been thrown a few yards, taking a chunk from the home's driveway.

"Just made a nice mess for the weekend," Zimmerman said.

Towards the center of town— sporadic damage. Wind toppled, snapped and uprooted trees in a few places. The foliage landed on a handful of vehicles and homes.

“The city is doing well," said City Clerk Jean McPherson. "There’s very little damage. A few homes, mostly tree damage. One shed was picked up and turned over. No physical damage to any person. That’s a good thing.”

Given the ferocity of the winds, from the beginning, some residents wondered if the damage was the work of a small tornado. That's despite not having prior warning.

"Felt like it could have been," said Jason Frost, who found a tree leaning against his Olin home. "I never experienced winds of that magnitude. Some loud noises. Gushing. Lasted probably about five minutes."

Weather experts suspected the same. Pinpoint Doppler Radar suggested there may have been rotation right over the Olin area as the storm moved in. The National Weather Service dispatched a team to investigate, determining later Friday afternoon, a tornado did touchdown on the western edge of town.

Fortunately, cleanup was quick for most. Olin was left a little shaken, but for the most part unscathed after tangling with a twister.



The National Weather Service has determined an EF-0 tornado touched down in Olin at 11:15 p.m. May 3.

The tornado was 0.1 mile in length and 10 yards in width.

Winds for an EF-0 tornado is 65 to 75 mph.



People living in the Jones County town of Olin were cleaning up severe weather damage Friday.

Strong winds blew through the town Thursday night causing tree, fire hydrant and some building damage. Meteorologist Justin Gehrts said during the TV9 News at Midday, there is evidence to suggest a brief tornado touched down about 11:12 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service was in Olin Friday surveying damage.