Local News

May 1, 2014

Tornado hit near Cohutta on Monday night

An EF1 tornado is responsible for killing approximately 15,000 chickens in Cohutta during Monday night’s storms, officials say.

EF1 tornadoes are considered “weak” on the rating scale, which ranges from EF0 to EF5. EF1 tornadoes are classified as having wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City confirmed the tornado on Wednesday, said Alex Gibbs, a forecaster. No one was injured.

The tornado touched down in the Keith Valley Road area at 11:05 p.m. and traveled a little more than three miles before crossing into southern Bradley County, Tenn., said Whitfield County Emergency Management Services Director Claude Craig.

“It basically went right in front of a house (in Whitfield County), turned and got a chicken house full of chickens,” Craig said. “Then it hit an older chicken house being used as a storage barn.”

The tornado was on the ground mostly through a wooded area, he said.

“There were no reports of any structural damage on any living quarters (in Whitfield County),” Craig said.

According to information from the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn., the tornado was on the ground for about a half mile in Tennessee where it knocked a house off its foundation.

The tornado reached a maximum speed of 97 mph in Georgia and a maximum speed of 105 mph in Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service. In both states, the tornado was approximately 100 yards wide. The tornado was on the ground for approximately five minutes.

The area was under a tornado watch Monday night. The National Weather Service had issued a “PDS,” or particularly dangerous situation, watch for the area, meaning there was potential to have long-lived and violent tornadoes.

“We were prepared,” Craig said. “We were expecting it.”


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