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Two Tornadoes Strike North Georgia
November 30, 2010

A powerful storm system swept through the Southeast on Tuesday, November 30th, knocking down trees and power lines and damaging numerous structures. Initially a wedge of cold air was in place across northern portions of the state. This wedge weakened and retreated northward Tuesday morning which destabilized the atmosphere as warm, moist air was brought northward from the Gulf of Mexico. A line of showers and thunderstorms associated with a cold front pushed eastward through north and central Georgia on Tuesday with the strongest storms moving across the area during the afternoon and early evening hours.

The event started around noon when nickel-sized hail fell in Rome. Shortly after, trees and power lines were reoprted down over Gordon and Pickens Counties. Around 3pm, storms intensified over Gwinnett, Butts and Henry counties and again in Glascock and Hancock Counties. A list of all the reported damage and counties affected can be found in this Local Storm Report Summary. After the line of severe storms caused damage across parts of north and central Georgia, rain continued to soak much of the area. Rainfall totals for the entire event ranged from ¾ to 3 inches with isolated amounts in northeast Georgia over 5 inches.

The most severe damage occurred in eastern Gwinnett county in south parts of Buford. An EF-2 tornado, with winds of 130 MPH, touched down at 3:36 pm near Holland Park Dr, then traveled between Mountain View High School and Twin Rivers Middle School.  It continued northeast into the Kirkstone subdivision which sustained minor to severe damage.  Fifty-six homes were damaged, 15 to 20 homes of those were left uninhabitable. One two-story home collapsed on itself after its roof and walls failed.  Several greenhouses at a nursery across the street from the Kirkstone subdivision were also destroyed.  The tornado weakened before lifting just north of I-85.  The tornado traveled 2.1 miles total and had a maximum width of 300 yards.

 

 [ Map of Buford tornado path ]

[ Collapsed home in Buford ]
Collapsed home in Buford
[ View from the back of collapsed home  ]
View from the back of collapsed home

[ Heavily damaged home in Buford ]
Heavily damaged home in Buford
[ Greenhouses with plastic sheathing destroyed ]
Greenhouses with plastic sheathing destroyed

[ KFFC Reflectivity. ]
Radar reflectivity at 333pm EST over eastern
Gwinnett County.
[ KFFC Velocity from Gwinnett Tornado. ]
Radar velocity at 333pm EST over eastern
Gwinnett County.

Approximately 30 minutes later, another tornado touched down in western Butts county about 4 miles south-southeast of Locust Grove about 4:12 pm. This tornado was rated EF-0 with maximum winds of 80 mph. It traveled 2.5 miles and lifted 1 mile west-southwest of Jenkingsburg. At least our houses recieved minor damage and several outbuildings were damaged or destroyed. A gas station had part of its awning blown off and six storage sheds were blown across U.S. Highway 23 in far southern Henry county west of Jenkingsburg. 

 [ Map of Butts/Henry county tornado path ]

[ Minor damage to home in western Butts county ]
Minor damage to home in western Butts county
[ Damage to gas station awning in far southern Henry county near Jenkingsburg ]
Damage to gas station awning in far southern Henry county near Jenkingsburg

[ KFFC Reflectivity at 410pm EST ]
Radar reflectivity at 410pm EST over western
Butts and southern Henry county.
[ KFFC Velocity at 410 EST ]
Radar reflectivity at 410pm EST over western
Butts and southern Henry county.

[ Storm total rainfall amounts. ]
Storm total rainfall ending Wednesday morning

 

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