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Severe Weather Barrels Across
North and Central Georgia
 

April 4-5, 2011

A strong squall line associated with a cold front moved across the peach state late Monday afternoon into early Tuesday morning, resulting in severe storms across north and central Georgia. The system produced strong gusty winds, heavy rain, pea to baseball sized hail and four tornadoes. These reports were not limited to just north and central Georgia as damage was observed all across the southeast as the squall line plowed across the area.

[ Storm Reports from April 4-5 Squall Line. ]
Storm Reports from April 4-5 Squall Line.

A damage survey conducted by the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down near Eastman in Dodge County around 2:38 AM EDT, where one fatality and two injuries occurred. The tornado tracked along Friendship UMC Road for approximately three miles. At its strongest, winds were 130 MPH, or an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The tornado destroyed a double-wide mobile home and damaged a single-wide mobile home, tearing a portion of the roof off and destroying the front porch.

[ Path of EF-2 tornado that struck Dodge County. ]
Path of EF-2 tornado that struck Dodge County.
[ Tornado Damage from Dodge County. ]
Double-Wide Mobile Home Destroyed by Tornado near Baileys Park (Dodge County).
[ Tornado Damage from Dodge County. ]
Double-Wide Mobile Home Detroyed by Tornado near Baileys Park (Dodge County).
[ Tornado Damage from Dodge County. ]
Portion of Roof Torn Off Single-Wide Mobile Home near Baileys Park (Dodge County).

[ Reflectivity from Dodge County Tornado. ]
Reflectivity from Dodge County Tornado.
[ Velocity from Dodge County Tornado. ]
Velocity from Dodge County Tornado.

In Gilmer County, two distinct areas of damage were found, both attributed to a combination of microbursts and subsequent tornadoes. One path of damage began about 7 miles west southwest of Ellijay just north of Carters Lake around 9:33 PM EDT April 4. A combination of two brief microbursts and tornadoes affected this area of a 2.6 mile path. Hundreds of trees were downed falling on about 100 homes - many of those receiving substantial damage. The path was about a half mile wide. Maximum winds were estimated around 100 MPH (EF-1). Also in Gilmer County, another path of damage began about 7 miles west of Ellijay around 9:34 PM EDT. Another combination of two brief microbursts and subsequent tornadoes affected this area over a 1.9 mile path. A few hundred trees were downed in this area. One chicken house was destroyed and three outbuildings were damaged. The path was about a half mile wide and maximum sustained winds were estimated at 80 MPH (EF-0).

[ Path of EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes that struck Gilmer County. ]
Path of EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes that struck Gilmer County.
[ Tornado Damage in Gilmer County. ]
Trees downed from Tornado in Gilmer County.
[ Tornado Damage in Gilmer County. ]
Structure destroyed from Tornado in Gilmer County.
[ Tornado Damage in Gilmer County. ]
Damage to Chicken Coop in Gilmer County.

[ Reflectivity from Gilmer County Tornado. ]
Reflectivity from Gilmer County Tornado.
[ Velocity from Gilmer County Tornado. ]
Velocity from Gilmer County Tornado.

In southern Bibb County, an EF-1 tornado, with winds estimated at 105 MPH, touched down approximately 10 miles southwest of downtown Macon near the intersection of Sardis Church Road and Goodall Mill Road around 1:30 AM EDT Tuesday morning (April 5). The tornado traveled northeast about 1.1 miles. Around 100 trees were downed. Nine homes received damage either from trees falling on them or from the wind directly. One home had substantial damage after the wind blew out the garage and the entire home shifted off its foundation. The path was about 50 yards wide.

[ Path of EF-1 tornado that struck Bibb County. ]
Path of EF-1 tornado that struck Bibb County.
[ Debris and Downed Trees for Tornado. ]
Damage to a house in Macon
(Bibb County).
[ Garage Destroyed by Tornado in Bibb County. ]
Garage Destroyed by Tornado in Bibb County.
[ House Shifted off Foundation by Tornado in Bibb County. ]
House Shifted off Foundation by Tornado in Bibb County.
[ Reflectivity from Bibb County Tornado. ]
Reflectivity from Bibb County Tornado.
[ Velocity from Bibb County Tornado. ]
Velocity from Bibb County Tornado.

Straight line winds caused tremendous damage across north and central Georgia. Damage reports included structural damage to houses and chicken coops. Downed trees and power lines caused not only power outages, but also caused structural damage to buildings, and in some cases, trapping people inside. In addition, one of the downed trees on a house killed two people in Jackson (Butts County). On top of the thunderstorm wind damage, hail was reported with the largest being baseball sized hail in Gordon County. For a more detailed report of the damage associated with the squall line view the Local Storm Reports.


[ Tree Snapped By Wind in Crisp County. ]
Tree Snapped by Wind in Crisp County.
[ Downed Trees in Crisp County. ]
Downed Trees in Crisp County.
[ Downed Trees in Harris County. ]
Downed Trees in Harris County.

During the event, the Storm Prediction Center issued two Tornado Watches which covered most of north and central Georgia (all of the Peachtree City forecast area). The forecast office in Peachtree City issued a total of 42 severe thunderstorms warnings in a span of less than 12 hours.

  

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