April 2, 1982: Paris Tornado
On the afternoon of April 2 1982, a supercell thunderstorm began the destruct sequence when it produced an EF-3 twister three miles SSE of Ravenna, Texas at 3:25p.m. It was 150 yards wide and stayed on the ground for 22 miles. During this time one was killed, one injured with property damage at $2.5million. Earlier in the afternoon, this same storm dumped golfball hail in the Sherman area, but no tornadoes were spotted, or wind damage reported, until the Ravenna sighting. This funnel continued eastward into western Lamar County where it fizzled.
Shortly after the first tornado dissipated northwest of Paris, a second and more violent tornado formed over northwestern portions of town and tracking eastward. This was the Paris Tornado.
Some 465 homes and apartments were damaged or destroyed as the tornado ground out a 200-300 yard wide path across the north side of Paris. Many homes received F2 to F3 (113-206mph) damage, with relatively few experiencing F4 (207-260mph)destruction. [These numbers are from the "old" F-scale still used at the time.]
In northwest Paris, a large lumber yard was leveled and then destroyed by fire as a result of the tornado. A mobile home park near the lumber yard was crushed. Most of the mobile home park residents received adequate warning and evacuated their homes. However, four people did not leave. Two of these people died, and the other two were injured.
The storm was rated as an F-4, with winds of around 210mph. The path was 250 yards wide, 17 miles long. A total of 10 were killed, 170 injured, with damage of $50 million (1982 dollars). About a thousand persons were left homeless.
It still ranks as the costliest tornado in both lives and property damage to hit Texoma since the Antlers, OK tornado of 1945.