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Portraits of a Storm

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On April 27, 2011, dozens of tornadoes touched down in the Southern United States. Debris, documents and photos were scattered for hundreds of miles. Patty Bullion created a Facebook Page to reunite storm survivors with their memories. We documented her efforts on film, but the story doesn't end there.

A team of researchers at the University of Georgia followed nearly 1,000 items that were returned to their owners, using information on the page to map the trajectory of each one. One photo traveled nearly 220 miles, the furthest any piece of debris has ever been thrown by a tornado on record.

The findings, recently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, have become the most comprehensive study on tornado debris to date, and could be used to help predict the path of dangerous debris during future storms.

Read more about the research here.

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