Fact Check

Kentucky Tornado

Photograph shows a tornado that hit Kentucky in March 2012?

Published Mar 7, 2012

Claim:   Photograph shows a tornado that hit Kentucky in March 2012.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2012]

Apparently this picture was taken in Kentucky during the Tornado Outbreak on March 2, 2012, but I have seen it posted as being in Richmond, KY as well as Crittenden KY.


Origins:   The photograph shown above is another recirculated weather phenomenon image, one which at least identifies the type of storm correctly (if not the date and location). This picture captured a tornado, but not one which hit any part of Kentucky in March 2012. Instead, the tornado (an F5) struck Elie, Manitoba, on 22 June 2007, and at the time was estimated to be the strongest tornado in Canadian history:

After reviewing new video footage, Environment Canada has upgraded the destructive force of a tornado that struck Elie, Manitoba to F5 — the most violent winds to ever touch the ground in Canada.

The powerful tornado touched down north of the Trans-Canada highway near Elie on June 22 at around 6:30 PM. The tornado moved slowly southeast, throwing a tractor-trailer unit from the highway before striking a flour mill on the outskirts of Elie, creating over $ 1 million in damages. Four homes were destroyed when the funnel moved into the town where it remained almost stationary for nearly five minutes.

Environment Canada originally categorized the the tornado as an F4, producing winds from 331-415 km/h.

New amateur video was provided to Environment Canada that clearly shows an entire home being hurled into the air, where it explodes in a cloud of debris. A vehicle, believed to be a van loaded with drywall, is also lofted several hundred meters during the footage.

Severe storms meteorologist Dave Carlsen of Environment Canada said that kind of destructive force was worthy of an F5 rating, indicating winds of between 416 and 510 km/h, the highest wind speed range on the Fujita scale.

The Elie tornado has now been recorded as the first F5 tornado in Canadian history.

Last updated:   7 March 2012


    Canada.com.   "Elie Tornado Strongest in Canadian History."

    18 September 2007.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.