Severe weather on Saturday in Houston County left six families homeless.
That was the assessment that Houston County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Williams gave Sunday.
A tornado watch was in effect for all of Middle Georgia on Sunday afternoon, but most of the area escaped additional severe weather. The National Weather Service in Peachtree City reported that a tornado is suspected to have struck Wilcox County on Sunday afternoon but did not have a damage estimate.
Williams said there was no weather damage in Houston Sunday, and emergency dispatchers in other area counties reported the same.
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Residents in southwest Georgia were not so fortunate Sunday. The Associated Press reported that 11 people died as a result of tornadoes in Cook, Brooks and Berrien counties. A tornado was also reported in Albany on Sunday afternoon.
A storm caused widespread damage throughout Middle Georgia on Saturday, including substantial damage in Houston County. Williams said he didn’t have an estimate, but it may be comparable to the $9 million in damage that occurred in the county April 1, not including another $4.8 million in damage at Robins Air Force Base.
Williams said he believes it was a tornado that struck the county Saturday, but that has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service.
Williams said many residents reported getting the Code Red phone alerts Saturday prior to the storm hitting, as well as hearing the warning sirens. He said that contributed to the fact that there were no injuries despite substantial damage.
Williams encouraged Houston residents to sign up for the alerts. That can be done by going to www.houstoncountyga.org. Bibb County residents can sign up for emergency phone alerts at www.maconbibb.us/mbcalert.
The storm tore part of the roof off the Wal-Mart on Booth Road in Warner Robins, causing it to shut down. The store remained closed Sunday. Two workers at the blocked vehicle entrance off Booth Road said they didn’t know when the store would reopen.
There was some possible storm damage in Bibb County early Sunday. A home on Rivoli Ridge Drive was seriously damaged by a fire believed to be caused by lightning, said Battalion Chief James Alligood. He said that due to the weather, the woman who lived there had gone to stay with her son, so no one was home. The call came in at 1:49 a.m. He said the fire caused significant damage but firefighters were able to stop it before the home was destroyed.