This is why I think the estimated wind speeds on the current EF-scale need to be higher than what they currently are.I don't really agree. Yeah, the scale is too conservative these days, and this one straddles the line a bit, but the contextual support wasn't quite there. That kind of tree damage is pretty low-end for being next to what looks like EF5 structural damage. If you want a reminder of what trees look like after an EF5, have a look at Moore or Hackleburg/Phil Campbell. No comparison. JAN also noted no grass scouring on the property, with the path only being visible in plowed dirt fields. Not what you'd expect with an EF5. Also the house remnants, while there isn't much left, are suspiciously intact and unsplintered.
With that said, this one probably was capable of producing clear cut EF5 damage. The tree damage along Willie Fortenberry Road to the northeast of Bassfield was about as intense as you can get. I think that is where the tornado likely reached its peak intensity, and if there was a well-built house in the path in that area, we would likely be looking at an EF5 rating.
In any case, the JAN survey team has regained my trust this year. They have been very meticulous and intuitive, contacted damage experts, and really took their time with this one. I trust their word.