Local News

January 30, 2013

Storms in Georgia kill at least 1, overturn cars, buildings

ADAIRSVILLE — A fierce storm system that roared across Georgia has left at least one person dead after it demolished buildings and flipped vehicles on Interstate 75 northwest of Atlanta.

A suspected tornado touched down in Adairsville, killing at least one person in the town about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta, Bartow County Fire Chief Craig Millsap told The Associated Press. The person’s body was found in storm damage in the hard-hit town. Millsap said additional details were not immediately available.    

The owner of Adairsville Travel Plaza, Theresa Chitwood, told the AP the storm tore off about a quarter of the travel plaza’s roof.  

“The sky was swirling,” Chitwood said, adding she went outside to move her car because she thought it was going to hail. Instead, the passing storm decimated a building behind the travel plaza and ripped the roof off of a nearby bank, Chitwood said.

“It sounded like a freight train coming through,” she said, adding that small produce stands that were near the travel plaza before the storm were gone Wednesday afternoon, “It looks like a bomb hit it.”

Chitwood and others pulled two men out of trucks that were damaged in the storm, and ambulances transported others to a nearby hospital.

Crews were responding to reports of people trapped in storm-damaged residential and commercial buildings in Adairsville, where there were reports of some injuries, Millsap said. Crews were trying to get into the damaged areas to assess the situation.

I-75 was closed in both directions near mile marker 306 for a time as crews responded to the scene, authorities said.

Atlanta station WSB-TV aired dramatic footage of a large funnel cloud bearing down on Adairsville and cars strewn across a street in the area. Large sections of a sprawling manufacturing plant appeared to have been demolished in the storms.

The storm struck Adairsville late Wednesday morning, said Chris Moseley, an administrative assistant with the Bartow County Emergency Management Agency. The possible tornado roared through the downtown area, demolishing a home and leaving at least 10 cars overturned, Moseley said.

Most of the damage was along Georgia Highway 140 near downtown Adairsville, she said. The highway was closed in both directions at mile marker 4.46 through Adairsville. Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mohamed Arafa said police, fire officials and Georgia Department of Transportation crews were on the scene waiting for the power to be turned off so they could address downed lines.

Arafa wrote in an email that he did not know when crews would be able to clear all the downed lines and debris so that the road could reopen.

The storms were part of a powerful system over Georgia bringing the threat of widespread damaging winds and isolated tornadoes to the state.

Georgia Power said 10,200 customers were without power in the wake of the storms — with about 5,600 of them in northwest Georgia and 3,500 in metro Atlanta — as of 3 p.m.  

A tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday afternoon that spanned 64 counties in central and north Georgia was set to expire at 8 p.m. Forecasters issued a severe thunderstorm warning in the metro Atlanta region.

An emergency manager reports that a tree fell on a house in Rome, though there were no immediate reports of any injuries. Earlier, high winds brought down power lines south of Summerville, the emergency manager in Chattooga County reported.

The line of storms was expected to track through the Atlanta metro area by mid-afternoon Wednesday.


Text Only
Local News
  • runner thompson.jpg Taking the race back

    Dean Thompson didn’t go 100 yards in his 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston without seeing people on the side of the road cheering for him.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobby Lee Dixon mg.jpg Officials: Man jailed for driving toward officer

    A Chatsworth man who officials said accelerated a vehicle toward a law enforcement officer who was approaching on foot remains in the Murray County jail without bond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Charges undetermined following standoff (Updated 5:45 p.m.)

    Police have yet to decide whether to press criminal charges against a man they say was armed and intoxicated while barricading himself in his office at a carpet mill in downtown Dalton Tuesday evening.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014