Tornado that tore through west Georgia confirmed to be EF-3

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — An EF-3 tornado left significant damage in Troup County Sunday morning, toppling trees and leaving people trapped in their homes.

New video from NewsDrone2 shows buildings in Troup County flattened for as far as the eye can see after a tornado tore through the area Sunday morning.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was in West Point Monday, where more than 100 structures were damaged, 30 to 40 were destroyed and five people were hurt.

Amazingly, only five people were hurt.

NewsChopper 2 was over the town Monday, where trees were uprooted, rooves were shorn off of homes and several structures were obliterated.

Elliot spoke to Sherry Bennett, who has lived in the area for 44 years. She was in bed when the storm hit. It started with hail, which she said scared her dog, and then just got worse.

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“The dog was scared to death because I have a metal roof,” Bennett said. “I was worried about my roof getting dented and bent, you know? Now I don’t have to worry about that, because, you know, I don’t have a roof.”

Sherry’s daughter found a ceiling fan motor in the living room. They don’t have a ceiling fan, but the neighbor several yards away did.

Gov. Brian Kemp toured the area on Monday, and cautioned residents that the clean-up is going to be a long process.

[PHOTOS: Tornado destroys multiple homes in Troup County]

Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen talked to Adrian McFarlin in West Point, who said he watched his roof blow off of his home.


“Two houses, my neighbors’, completely destroyed,” McFarlin said. “But they still alive, by the grace of God.”

Petersen also spoke to first responder Kimberly Rowe, who said she and her driver were responding to a 911 call in the West Point area when a tree limb smashed through the window of their truck.

[Residents report ‘golf ball sized hail’ in west Georgia amidst severe storms]

“I feel like my life flashed before my eyes,” Rowe said.

In Spalding County, about 30 families around a reservoir were evacuated when a temporary dam breached after seven inches of rain fell in 48 hours. Dramatic video from NewsChopper 2 showed water pouring through the earthen berm at the Heads Creek reservoir.

Families were allowed to go back home on Monday night.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes spoke to county emergency managers there, who said that officers went door-to-door to encourage residents to evacuate.

“We’re gonna continue monitoring our downstream locations where this flow is accumulating to make sure debris isn’t accumulating against under bridges or roadways where the stream flows through so it doesn’t create more issues downstream,” officials said.

So far, there has been no damage to property there.

In Upson County, heavy rain washed out several roads. Crews were still out surveying damage Monday afternoon.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden talked to Mitchell Morris, who said he still can’t believe that a busy road collapsed. The husband and father of three decided to drive himself and his entire family down to jeff Davis Road to look at the caved-in portion of road on Monday.

“It anyone had been coming down at the time this was happening, it would have been really bad,” Morris said.

Martha Ann McCarty is the county’s emergency management director. She said she and her staff haven’t gotten a minute of sleep.

“Most places that have flooded have been low-lying areas around creeks,” McCarty said “We do have some folks that have become isolated because of where they live. Their homes aren’t in danger but accessibility has been cut off.”

The Red Cross has been helping people who lost their homes with temporary shelter and other assistance.

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