NWS: EF-2 tornado touched down in Pike County

by: WSBTV.com<\/a> web staff Updated:

Loading

ATLANTA - Rain and large hail pounded metro Atlanta early Monday night.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down in Pike County.

The weather is being blamed for at least one death in Polk County. The county coroner confirms that Larry Agan, of Rome, died in surgery after a crash. He was driving on Old Highway 100 between Cave Spring and Cedartown when a tree fell on his truck.

A tornado warning was issued for several counties, but by 7 p.m. storms started to weaken and a tornado watch for metro Atlanta was canceled.

The supercell storm was going strong for more than two hours, and as Severe Weather Team 2 chief meteorologist Glenn Burns tracked signs of rotation, he told residents to take precautions.

"Just be ready to act quickly," Burns said, telling those in the path of the storm to take shelter.

He advised viewers to stay away from doors and windows, head to the lowest floors of their homes and grab bicycle helmets. He also warned of dangerous straight-line winds.

Authorities confirmed quarter-inch hail falling at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which led to delays of up to 60 minutes. The emergency manager at the airport reported golf-ball-size hail and numerous cars with broken windshields.

Around 6:30 p.m., Burns said there appeared to be a tornado in the area around State Highway 18 near the Meriwether/Pike County line.

"This is very likely a tornado. It is exhibiting all the characteristics of a tornado," he said.

Beth Camp told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri that she and her 12-year-old  daughter, Meredith, were watching Channel 2 Action News when they saw the storm moving toward their Concord community in Pike County. Within five minutes it hit.

"It was bad. It was loud and we could hear things moving around outside," Camp said. "It was enough time for us to get in there get a flashlight. Get in the bathroom and kind of hunker down. It sounded like the windows were just gone and it sounded like things were moving in the house."

The Camps' home lost power but wasn't damaged otherwise.


http://bcove.me/c06enl1s

 

Just down the street, they showed Viteri a storage facility ripped apart by the strong winds.

Camp said the storm actually picked up the shed and flattened it where it landed. Metal roofing protecting equipment ripped off in chunks, landing throughout the field.

"It's going to be a long day tomorrow," Camp said.

Earlier Monday evening, crews could be seen removing an SUV after a deadly accident on Highway 19 near the Spalding County line.

The coroner told Viteri one person died after being ejected from the car. The sheriff said the accident, which happened just before the storm hit, is under investigation.

He said there are several homes damaged by the storm but no reports of any other injuries.

In Floyd County, the severe storms leveled a small mini-mart.

Stacey McRae told Channel 2's Eric Philips she was working the register at the Silver Creek mini-mart when the winds began to blow and the powerful storm came through.


http://bcove.me/l9cnq9o1



McRae said it was instant pandemonium, with inventory flying every which way.

One employee and a customer were able to get into a brick bathroom, but McRae said she knew she couldn't make it that far, so she headed for the inside of a cooler for shelter. A customer followed.

"And there were wine bottles behind us, hitting us, as we were trying to get in," McRae said. "We got there and we started praying."

As the storm approached, Jeremy Baker, who lives just across the street, saw the system heading down the street, describing it like a bad dream.

"It was heart-rendering really," Baker said.

Luckily no one was injured when the storm hit. It did, however, destroy the store.

http://bcove.me/jltxsumj


Channel 2 Action News

Delivered To Your Inbox