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April 5 tornado strongest twister in US this year
Bryan Tornado April 5 9
Pam Gunter's car on its side, April 9, 2022, four days after the April 5 tornado that tore through North Bryan.

The National Weather Service estimates that the April 5 tornado that hit North Bryan had winds of 185 mph, making it the strongest twister in the United States so far this year.

The storm killed Belinda Thompson, 66, of Ellabell and injured 12 others, including Thompson’s husband.

A National Weather Service damage survey upgraded the tornado’s strength to EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale from the original rating of EF-3.

A March 5 tornado that hit Winterset, Iowa, with 170 mph winds, killing 6 people, was the strongest-rated tornado until now.

The storm that hit North Bryan had a path of nearly 13 miles and was nearly three-quarters of a mile wide at its widest point. It touched down about 5:15 p.m. near Pembroke and lifted off about 15 minutes later near Blitchton.

Surveyors found “massive” tree damage and some homes and structures destroyed.

In the county seat of Pembroke, large sections of roof got torn off the courthouse and the entryway to a government building across was demolished. The storm destroyed at least 18 homes in the county and left more than 10 others with major damage, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

At least 82 tornadoes were confirmed from Texas to South Carolina from April 4 through April 6. Of those, nearly 30 struck in middle and south Georgia, including an EF-3 storm that destroyed two electrical transmission towers and damaged numerous homes in Bonaire. Two EF-3 storms also hit Allendale County, South Carolina.

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