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Tornado Damage Confirmed in Gadsden, Decatur and Grady Counties

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

... National Weather Service storm survey team confirms tornado
damage in Gadsden County, Florida and Decatur and Grady counties in Georgia...

A storm survey was conducted today along the path of a tornadic
thunderstorm that moved from central Gadsden County, Florida into
northern Grady County, Georgia early Monday morning. Tornadic damage was not continuous along the entire path of the parent thunderstorm. In fact, the damage became much more sporadic once it entered Grady County.

In Gadsden County...
Based on National Weather Service radar data and law enforcement
reports... the tornado first touched down just south of Interstate 10 at mile marker 168. The time of touchdown is estimated at 108 am EST. Along Interstate 10 an 18-wheel truck was tossed off the highway with only minor injuries to the driver. The next area of damage was noted just east of the community of Hardaway... which is approximately 3 miles north of Interstate 10. In this location numerous trees were snapped or uprooted with minor damage done to two mobile homes. More significant damage was observed in the community of Mount Pleasant where a few homes were damaged. One home on B.W. Martin Road suffered complete roof failure and loss of a free standing carport. Damage at this location was rated EF-1 with winds of 100 mph. About 1 mile north of US-90 on Mount Pleasant Road... two homes suffered significant roof damage with large oak trees uprooted around the homes. At this location... the tornado is believed to have been at its greatest intensity in Gadsden County. Damage at this location was rated EF-1 with maximum winds of 110 mph. The tornado lifted at this point as the storm continued to move northeast. At its widest point... this tornado had a path width of 150 yards.

In Decatur County...
Much of the damage within Decatur County occurred between the communities of Fowlstown and Attapulgus and southeast of the community of Climax. Much of the damage in Decatur County was due trees falling on residences. Straight line winds caused the damage southeast Climax... but an EF-0 tornado with winds of 70 mph caused the damage between Attapulgus and Fowlstown.

In Grady County...
Surveying continued along the route of the storm southwest of Whigham where several trees were snapped with one home suffering minor roof damage. This damage is attributed to straight line winds estimated at 70 mph. The storm produced another tornado that touched down just east of GA-93 near Courtney Lane around 200 am EST. Numerous trees were either uprooted or snapped along this road. Homes along this road only had either minor roof damage or skirting removed around the base of Mobile homes. The tornado continued on the ground to the northeast and uprooted several trees near two homes on Shorty Lane. One home... a single wide Mobile home lost portions of its roof. The other residence... a single family home... lost a few shingles from the roof. Three pillars on the front of this house were shifted several inches. Two homes east of Shorty Lane on Wilcox Road were damaged. In this area surveyed... maximum winds are estimated at 85 mph... which makes this tornado a low end EF-1. While the tornado lifted... the storm continued to move northeast with the tornado touching down again along Pine Forest Road east of GA-111. About 1 mile up Pine Forest Road... a mobile home was destroyed with the free standing carport tossed 200 yards into the nearby Forest. The occupant of the mobile home was injured when the mobile home rolled over. The roof and exterior walls were destroyed. The frame remains attached to the undercarriage of the mobile home. Due to this fact... the wind speed at this location is estimated at 110 mph... or a high end EF-1 tornado. Maximum path width for the tornado in Grady County is 75 yards.

This storm continued to move northeast and approached northwestern Thomas and southwestern Colquitt counties. No further signs of tornadic damage were surveyed along the storm's path. A few trees were downed in southwestern Colquitt County... but this damage is attributed to straight line winds.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee would like to thank the Gadsden County and Grady County emergency management agencies that assisted with the damage assessment this afternoon.


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