Cleanup effort continues into night in storm-ravaged Bartow County

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — The massive cleanup effort is underway in several areas of North Georgia following a catastrophic tornado outbreak late Thursday night and early Friday morning.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Bartow County that damaged homes and destroyed businesses.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was there as crews worked late into the night Friday trying to restore power to communities still in the dark.

Qaiser Rana got emotional as he gave Seiden a tour inside his family’s business that was heavily damaged in the storms.

“When the sun finally came up and you saw the damage, describe what went through your mind,” Seiden prompted Rana.

“It was shock. Twelve years we’ve been working here. Shocked as to what happened to my family store,” Rana said.

Fortunately, no one was injured. But he believes his gas station on Old Grassdale Road is a total loss.

“I’ve never seen a scene like that in my life,” Rana said.

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The TrinityRail Facility also appeared to take a direct hit. A spokesperson for the company confirmed there were no injuries or fatalities there.

In a statement, the company said:

“TrinityRail immediately implemented standard safety procedures, first responders were called to the scene and TrinityRail is engaged with local authorities.  The TrinityRail business continuity team is onsite conducting safety and operational impact assessments. There is currently no power to the facility and Georgia Power is conducting onsite repairs.   TRMS has suspended operations until a full safety and operational assessment is completed. TRMS Cartersville will remain closed until further notice, and leaders are reaching out to inform employees and offer employees assistance as needed.”

Many residents told Seiden that they spent the day cleaning up and assessing the damage.

Lamar Mullinax took a break from the hard work to share his incredible stories of survival.

“It cut through the roof, and the boys’ bedroom was right there. And it came down on them. And they were pinned under the tree limbs,” Mullinax said.

He told Seiden he and his wife had to take shelter in their downstairs closet.

“Thank God nobody got hurt or killed,” Mullinax said.

Georgia Power says it could be days before power is restored to the entire community.

In the meantime, many people in the community are stepping up to help.

The Tabernacle Church in Cartersville will be offering free food boxes for any family impacted by this storm.

The food giveaway will start at 10 a.m. Saturday.