The strong winds that tore the roof off a Houston County manufactured home were indeed from a tornado, one of three that struck the midstate Sunday, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
The agency said one of those three tornadoes began in Alabama before causing the most damage in Upson County, near Thomaston, with winds of 130 mph. That tornado moved some 118 miles, sometimes on the ground and sometimes above it.
According to the National Weather Service:
When the Thomaston tornado entered Georgia through Stewart County, it had enough power to snap hardwood trees. But it was strongest north of Thomaston, where it destroyed a small residential leasing office by collapsing the walls and blowing them away. The damage indicates it was a strong EF-2 tornado at that point.
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In Lamar County that same tornado produced EF-1 damage, blowing roofing and siding from a metal building. It continued on into Butts County, damaging some roofs and snapping softwood trees.
A second tornado ran about 20.5 miles through Monroe County as an EF-1, with peak winds estimated at about 107 mph. It first touched down in southwest Monroe County to damage trees, then picked up and touched down some more. The strongest part of that tornado came when it crossed Reedy Creek Road, snapping several hardwood trees, peeling metal sheeting from one barn and collapsing another. The tornado destroyed a shed and uprooted a tree onto a house in Smarr. That tornado ended near Juliette.
The tornado that hit southern Houston County was rated as EF-1 with peak winds of 100 mph. That ran about 6.4 miles, the National Weather Service said, touching down on Ga. 26 near Loggins Road, where it ripped shingles from a home and wrecked an above-ground pool. The strongest part of the tornado was along Pitts Road, where it pushed a manufactured home off its foundation and peeled its roof off. A shed was overturned on East Flournoy Road, while the tornado tossed a boat more than 100 feet into a cotton field and shattered windows on a house. The tornado caused more damage before lifting off near Ga. 129 in Pulaski County.
A National Weather Service meteorologist said staff members were still evaluating data and mapping the tornado paths Tuesday afternoon.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.