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Katrina Spawns Tornadoes in Georgia - August 29, 2005
by WFO Peachtree City staff and Cherokee County EMA director Robby Westbrook
updated December 1, 2005

[ track of Katrina ]

18 tornadoes in Georgia...
Damage photos available...

On Monday, August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina pushed ashore along the central Gulf Coast. By Monday afternoon the hurricane's center of circulation was in southern Mississippi, but some of her outer bands of thunderstorms spiraled into portions of northern and central Georgia. Several of the stronger thunderstorms in these bands spawned tornadoes, resulting in considerable damage in scattered areas. Tornadoes with ratings of F0, F1, and F2 on the Fujita Scale damaged homes, poultry houses and businesses, and knocked down many hundreds, if not thousands, of trees. Several people were injured and there was at least one fatality.

The most serious of the tornadoes was the first of the day. It struck portions of Heard and Carroll counties west of Atlanta causing at least 3 injuries and one fatality as several homes were severely damaged. Several large poultry barns were completely destroyed, killing over 140,000 chicks. This was an F2 tornado.

Two more F2 tornadoes occurred later in the evening, one in Peach County south of Macon, and the other in White County northeast of Gainesville. Injuries were reported in the Peach County storm, as well as in another tornado in Spalding County south of Atlanta.

Other counties hit by tornadoes (rated F0 or F1) included...Walton...Barrow...Hall...Polk, Haralson, Fannin, Lumpkin, Paulding, Oconee, Jackson, Forsyth and Taylor in northern and central Georgia, and in Decatur County and Evans County in South Georgia.

By the end of the day there had been at least 18 tornadoes. This outbreak established several new tornado records for the month of August in Georgia including...

  • the first tornado fatality ever documented in Georgia during the month of August.
  • the most tornadoes ever reported in a single day in August.
  • the greatest dollar loss from tornadoes ever recorded during the month of August.

Teams surveyed the damage in order to determine the appropriate Fujita scale classification, and to gather other details. They also took a number of photographs. A summary of their findings for the tornadoes that struck northern and central counties is available.

Other relevant Web pages and documents...

 

  • Georgia's Record Tornado Outbreak by J.Robby Westbrook, CEM® and James D. Westbrook [ PDF file - 184k]

     

  • Official Post Storm Report from NWS Slidell (New Orleans area)

     

  • Official Post Storm Report from NWS Mobile, AL


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    [ location of Katrina's tornadoes in Georgia ]

     

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