Updated:RABUN COUNTY, Ga.,None — On a beautiful spring day, you may find a few boats on Lake Burton in north Georgia but on Friday only lumber, debris and even a roof floated on the lake.
The Rabun County lake is surrounded by posh cottages but a powerful tornado skipped across the lake on Wednesday, cutting a 14-mile swath through the woods and homes.
Channel 2's Diana Davis toured the lake with Cpl. Derek Dillard of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources because roads are still impassable.
"I've never seen anything like this around here. You hear about tornadoes in flatter areas, not areas with mountains and stuff like this," said Dillard.
The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado hit the northeast shore of the lake and damaged or destroyed 100 homes.
"It rode all the way up the side of the mountain. All the way up the lake," said Dillard.
Homes that cost millions of dollars were leveled, leaving nothing but a foundation. Boats that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars were tossed around on the lake and onto the shore.
Some homes burned to the ground after the storm because firefighters couldn't reach them, Dillard said.
Dillard showed Davis a home split in half by the tornado. A man inside the house was killed.
Dillard said search and rescue missions will continue through the weekend.
"They are, of course, giving verbal commands, trying to get a response from someone if they are in there. They're using search and rescue dogs."
Dillard told Davis the one saving grace of the storm was that it hit in the middle of the week when weekend and summer residents were away.