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North Georgia Pummelled By Heavy Storms and Tornadoes

December 24, 2011 – The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that the storms that pummeled North Georgia the day before contained three tornadoes – the strongest of them up to a half-mile wide as it plowed 15 miles through Gordon County.

At least seven people, most of them in the Rome area, suffered minor injuries in the storms. Damage was scattered across northwest Georgia, but in a few spots the destruction was nearly complete. In Floyd County, a storage building at Shorter University and a shopping center on Shorter Avenue were heavily damaged. In Gordon County, a family’s home was blown off its foundation while a couple and their toddler son huddled in a bathroom.

The Weather Service reported that the storms also downed trees in Fulton, Fayette, Henry, Polk, Haralson, Bartow, Douglas, Gilmer, Troup, Coweta and Meriwether counties. The most powerful tornado touched down at 5:25 p.m. Thursday on the far northeast corner of Floyd County near Ga. 140 about 2.7 miles north of Shannon, according to meteorologist Mike Leary of the Weather Service office in Peachtree City. The storm started out as a relatively weak EF0 tornado, with gusts of up to 85 mph. The EF or Enhanced Fujita scale ranks tornadoes on a 0 to 5 scale, with 5 being the most destructive storm.

The tornado strengthened to an EF1 with gusts as much as 110 mph just east of Plainville and crossed into Gordon County. “Several homes were damaged from falling trees,” Leary said. Then the tornado passed south of Calhoun and spun up to an EF3, with gusts of up to 165 mph, as it crossed Boone Ford and Beason roads east of Calhoun. That’s where it slammed into and destroyed the house of Davison and Ashley Sheriff. The couple and their 1-year-old son escaped serious injury as their home blew up around them. “The pressure, from the tornado, I guess, made my ears pop, so I told everybody to get in the bathroom,” Davison Sheriff told Channel 2 Action News. He said he pulled his pregnant wife and son close “and held them tight. We never did let go of each other.”

…(AJC)

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December 24, 2011 - Posted by | Weather | , , ,

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