588 The 2018 Greensboro Tornado: Complications and Challenges of Surveying and Providing Relief in an Urban Environment

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ryan T. Ellis, NOAA/NWSFO, Raleigh, NC; and N. M. Petro and D. Campbell

On April 15th, 2018, an EF-2 tornado touched down on Interstate 40 in Guilford County, NC just south of the city of Greensboro. The tornado proceeded northward, producing a significant amount of damage across the eastern side of the city. Within the city of Greensboro, more than 1,000 structures were damaged or destroyed. The tornado continued north across Guilford and into Rockingham County leaving a trail of destruction in its path. In this recount of the event, the National Weather Service forecast office in Raleigh, NC and the Guilford County Emergency Management office come together, using both photos and video, to revisit the challenges associated with the event and the complications caused by the storm hitting a densely populated area. The challenges included post storm safety, organization of relief efforts, traffic and street access, and sheltering of displaced residents. Lessons learned by both the National Weather Service and the Guilford County Emergency Management Department are shared along with best practices moving forward.
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