The National Weather Service has released data ranking the tornado in West Liberty as the longest tracked tornado in the country for 2012.
The tornado that moved through eastern Kentucky and western portions of West Virginia tracked a total of 85 miles. The longest tracked tornado, in recorded history, is 235 miles in 1953. The tornado that tore through West Liberty virtually leveled downtown and then traveled into parts of West Virginia. The tornado was fatal with two in Johnson County and two in Lawrence County, KY.
Chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins called the storm and its aftermath "historic" as an EF3 tornado hit West Liberty. No EF3 tornado had been seen in the region since May 1988, when such a twister hit Bell County, KY.
The outbreak of tornadoes and severe weather over the southeast and Ohio Valley (AL, GA, IN, OH, KY, TN, WV) had 75 confirmed tornadoes. This event, which includes the region, is listed as one of the top 11 "Billion Dollar Extreme Weather/Climate Events". Final data will be released in mid-2013 on the exact costs but for now, this puts the region in 3 of the 11, the derecho and Superstorm Sandy included.