Tornado touches down in Lumpkin County

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DAHLONEGA, Ga. - A strong line of storms that moved through metro Atlanta Thursday night, brought heavy rain, wind, hail and one confirmed tornado.

The National Weather Service said Friday that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Lumpkin County and briefly crossed into Hall County. The tornado reached speeds of 105 mph and stretched more than 4 miles, officials said.

In Dahlonega, a tree fell on a home, trapping a woman inside. It was just one of 17 homes that sustained damage in Lumpkin County.

Just after 9 p.m., a strong burst passed through the south end of Lumpkin County, splitting trees and blocking roads before trapping a woman in her home off Pinewood Place.

Emergency crews driving block-to-block to clear roads rescued the woman from her basement. She escaped without injury.

“Came across this area, there is a pretty good path several miles through here. Four or five roads that have a lot of trees down, a lot of damage,” David Wimpy of Lumpkin County Emergency Management said.

In Gwinnett County, two homes were struck by lightning. A home on Oak Hampton Way in Duluth was first rocked by a lightning bolt before catching fire.

The residents were inside at the time, but were not injured.

Lightning is also being blamed for sparking a fire at a second Gwinnett County home. A caller to 911 said there were flames coming from the second floor of a home on Greenside Court in Dacula.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the attic. No one was hurt, but there was too much damage for the residents to stay in the home.

In Floyd County, northwest of Atlanta, a roof was ripped off a business in Rome during Thursday night’s storms.

The Southern Pipe and Supply Company on East 2nd Avenue was nearly demolished. Overnight, workers removed parts of metal roof from power lines and a nearby fence.

Manager Kevin Belk used a flashlight to see how much damage his company sustained.

“As you can see, well, you can’t see, it’s in the neighbor’s yard. It’s up in the tree over there. It’s all over the place,” Belk said referring to scraps of metal from the roof.

Bruce Hunter said he saw the flying debris right before he ran for cover.

“Looking out my back window, saw some of the rood over here peeling off. After that, I headed to the basement,” Hunter said.

Belk said the storm damaged the company’s newly renovated showroom. The winds also blew out two front windows.

“We got tarps on the roof. We got a lot of water in the warehouse, but yeah, we’ll be open in the morning. Business goes on,” Belk said.

Belk said the insurance company would come out on Friday to assess the damage.

Metro Atlantans cleaning up from the storms will see nice weather throughout the weekend, with sunshine and highs in the low 70s and lows in the 40s and low 50s.