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“Everybody says it sounds like a train, but it’s worse than that.”

Crawford County tornado victims talk about damage

Crawford County residents who suffered damage from the tornado talk about the experience and the damage they suffered.
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Crawford County residents who suffered damage from the tornado talk about the experience and the damage they suffered.

Kevin Dawson looked shocked Monday morning as he sifted through the rubble of his destroyed home in Crawford County, but he also felt lucky.

He and his wife Mary were in North Georgia building a new home when they learned their residence on Wesley Chapel Road had been destroyed by a tornado Sunday. Their son and grandchildren, who live with them, were in Fort Valley at the time working in their cleaning business.

Kevin Dawson returned to Crawford County and saw the home for the first time Monday morning. The roof had been torn off and scattered across a pasture behind the house. Most of their belongings were destroyed.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said as he looked through the rubble. “Never in a million years would you think something like this would happen to you, but thank God the family wasn’t here. This is just materialistic stuff.”

Friends and family were helping him recover what he could from the rubble.

In a preliminary estimate, the National Weather Service confirmed the tornado was an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 114 mph.

Near the Dawson’s, on Greer Road, Ronnie Daniely was with friends and family going through the destroyed double wide mobile home of his sister, Vanessa Daniely. She was home alone when the tornado struck.

She had just walked into the bathroom for protection when the tornado hit her house. She was lifted up and dropped in the yard, her brother said. She escaped with a broken ankle and was undergoing surgery Monday.

“I think it’s a blessing,” Daniely said. “I’m glad God was on her side.”

Charlie Stubbs and his wife live next door to Dawson and had just arrived home when they heard the tornado warning on the radio. Stubbs was getting his dog in the house when he realized the tornado was near.

“I saw all the debris two or three hundred feet up in the air coming at us,” he said. “Everybody says it sounds like a train but it’s worse than that. I mean it’s just a long, steady roar and glass breaking.”

He had holes in his roof, his truck was probably totaled and outer buildings destroyed, but he was fortunate compared to his neighbor.

“The first thing I saw was their house and I thought ‘My Lord, I hope they are not in there,’” he said.

Timothy Gaines lives in a double wide mobile home next door to Daniely. He saw the tornado coming across the pasture behind his house, and decided to get his family in his truck and flee.

They could see the debris flying up near their house as they watched from a distance. He returned to see his house intact but his neighbor’s home destroyed.

“Thank God she’s still alive,” he said. “Everything can be replaced but human life can’t.”

Bibb County had a tornado warning on Sunday, but no tornado. Downtown did experience some high winds, with a flag pole blown over and windows broken at the Medical Center, Navicent Health.

A few traffic lights were out for a period Sunday night.

Chris Floore, spokesman for the Macon-Bibb government, said there were a few trees down in the downtown area, as well, as other areas of the county. Work crews completed their cleanup on Monday.

Wayne Crenshaw has worked as a journalist since 1990 and has been a reporter for The Telegraph since 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Georgia College and is a resident of Warner Robins.
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