Kingsport and Cherry Hill, TN area Tornado, Mar 1933



About 50 Victims of Storm Taken Care of In Kingsport's Two Hospitals.


The death list in this immediate section from last night's tornado moved up to eight today as DEWEY LAWSON, SR., died at the General Hospital and two additional deaths were reported from Caney Valley near Church Hill in upper Hawkins county. The deaths reported from Caney Valley were REV. ARTHUR BARRETT, 40, and the infant son of KELLY BRADSHAW.
The dead reported by The Times in an extra early this morning included T. G. CROCKETT, 35, of Shipp Springs, two miles from Kingsport; R. S. CALHOUN, 57, of Cherry Hill; MRS. R. S. CALHOUN, 48; LONNIE EMMETT MEADOWS, 30, of Cherry Hill, and MRS. ALICE HODGE, 75, of Mill Point, ten miles east of Kingsport on the Reedy Creek road.

Near Death
T. G. CROCKETT, JR., age 4, and DEWEY LAWSON, JR., age 4, were both reported near death at the General Hospital here at noon today, while MRS. W. H. RAMEY, 63, was said to be in a critical condition at the same hospital. It was believed that all of the other injured at this hospital would recover.
At the Marsh Clinic and Hospital the condition of several other injured remained critical today, but it was believed all would recover unless complications should arise. The injured at the two hospitals, numbering about 50 were for the most part recovering from the shock and responding well to medical treatment. While it was estimated that at least 50 others were injured, the injuries of the majority of those were of a minor nature and they were being cared for at their homes or the homes of neighbors.
In the meantime, the stricker area, emerged from a night of terror, was beginning the work of clearing away the wreckage today, providing food and shelter for the homeless, caring for the injured and reestablishing telephone and highway communications. The Reedy Creek Road, which was blocked throughout the night at the residence of SAM STEADMAN, two miles from Kingsport, by fallen trees, was again opened for traffic at an early hour. Groups of workmen were employed along the highway, clearing the road and repairing telephone lines.

Narrow Path
A more complete check-up by The Times today revealed that the path of the tornado was even longer than had been estimated last night. Evidently the windstorm first struck with cyclonic fury somewhere in Hawkins county, northwest of Surgoinsville, slashed through Caney Valley killing two and injuring perhaps a score of others, visited itself with terrible fury upon Cherry Hill, a populous suburb to the northwest of Kingsport proper, and then proceeded directly up the Reedy Creek Valley to a point northwest of Bristol – a total distance of 35 or 40 miles. Its path throughout the greater part of this distance was only about 500 feet wide.
The high wind, traveling with a terrific velocity, swept practically everything in its narrow path, leaving a trail of desolation and destruction in its wake. It lasted, in its more intense fury, only about five minutes, subsiding as suddenly as it had arisen. It struck at about 8:25 and continued until 8:30, accompanied by a severe electrical disturbance and a heavy hail storm. At Cherry Hill hail stones larger than hen eggs shattered windows of the houses which were left standing and pelted through the tops of automobiles.
In the light of a more complete check-up today an earlier estimate of from $125,000 to $150,000 in property damage in the immediate vicinity of Kingsport was substantiated. Homes, barns and outhouses were demolished; trees were mowed down; fences, telephone and power lines were twisted into a mass of wreckage; dozens of automobiles parked in driveways or by the side of the streets or roads were converted into twisted wreckage, and a great deal of livestock was killed or injured beneath falling barns and sheds or in open fields.
Those reported missing last night were accounted for today and the work of searching for other possible victims was completed without material change in the earlier published list of injured. W. H. JOHNS, MRS. JOHNS, and the latter's sister, MRS. MINNIE BRATTON, of the Reedy Creek Road, about two miles from Kingsport, who were unaccounted for last night, were found to be safe and uninjured today. Their home, which had earlier been reported completely demolished, was badly damaged but not destroyed.
The home of T. G. CROCKETT, one of the victims of the storm, occupied by CROCKETT, his wife, and four children, was completely swept from its foundation and scattered in a shattered mass of debris over the surrounding fields. It was situated on the western exposure of a hillside and caught the full force of the wind.
Up the Reedy Creek highway from Kingsport the storm followed a well defined route, practically clearing the 500-foot pathway of everything which stood in its way. Just outside the corporate limits of Kingsport a barn belonging to MRS. W. D. NEAL was levelled[sic], pinning a number of cattle and mules beneath the wreckage, and killing three cows and one mule. A number of other cattle were injured. Another barn was razed about a quarter of a mile east of the NEAL barn.
A silver ash tree at the home of SAM STEADMAN, which had weathered many storms, was uprooted by the fast moving tornado on its wild course up Reedy Creek valley. The house was badly damaged while practically all of the out-buildings were blown to pieces. Shrubbery in the yard was uprooted and carried away by the violent wind as it traveled eastward toward Arcadia.

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Thank you so much for posting

Thank you so much for posting this news event! My father lived in the area and used to tell me about living through this twister. He was 15 when it hit. I really enjoyed how the news was captured back then...more of a story than just fact-spewing. It allowed me to get a better understanding of how the event unfolded and gave me a new connection to my now deceased father.