PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
500 AM EDT SUN MAR 23 2008

...REPORT FOR MARCH 14TH CITY OF ATLANTA TORNADO...
...UPDATE TO INCREASE DAMAGE RATING NEAR DOWNTOWN TO EF2 AND SPECIFY
TOTAL NUMBER OF FATALITIES AND INJURIES...

A DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST
OFFICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS CONFIRMED THAT AN EF2 TORNADO TRACKED
THROUGH THE HEART OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA BETWEEN 938 AND 950 PM EST
ON FRIDAY...MARCH 14TH.

THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF SIMPSON AND
BURBANK STREETS IN THE VINE CITY NEIGHBORHOOD AT APPROXIMATELY 938
PM. THE TORNADO THEN TRACKED DUE EAST OVER THE CENTER OF THE
GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER /ABOUT 100 YARDS NORTH OF THE GEORGIA
DOME WHERE AN SEC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT WAS TAKING PLACE/...ACROSS
THE CNN/OMNI HOTEL COMPLEX AND PHILLIPS ARENA /WHERE AN NBA
BASKETBALL GAME WAS UNDERWAY/...OVER THE EQUITABLE BANK TOWER...
ACROSS I-85/75 AT THE EDGEWOOD EXIT...AND THEN INTO THE COTTON MILL
LOFTS ACROSS FROM OAKLAND CEMETERY. FROM THIS POINT...THE TORNADO
WEAKENED BUT CAUSED SPOTTY TREE AND ROOF DAMAGE INTO EXTREME WESTERN
DEKALB COUNTY NEAR THE JUNCTION OF BRAEBURN AND JOSEPHINE STREETS...
WHERE IT LIFTED.

THE TORNADO HAD A TOTAL PATH LENGTH OF SIX MILES AND A MAXIMUM PATH
WIDTH OF 200 YARDS. MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS WERE ESTIMATED NEAR 130
MPH...WHICH IS A HIGH END EF2 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. AS IT
MOVED ACROSS THE GWCC/CNN/OMNI COMPLEX...THE TORNADO WIDTH WAS ABOUT
100 YARDS WIDE AND PRODUCED LOW END EF2 WINDS OF ABOUT 120 MPH.

AT LEAST 50 HOMES WERE DAMAGED BY THE TORNADO...AS WERE SEVERAL
MULTI-STORY TOWERS AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS NEAR AND EAST OF THE
CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK. WINDOWS WERE BLOWN OUT OF MANY OF THE
TOWERS...AT ALL HEIGHTS. DAMAGE IN RESIDENTIAL AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS
RANGED FROM ROOFING MATERIALS BLOWN FROM HOMES AND BUSINESSES TO
TREES FALLING ON STRUCTURES AND VEHICLES. THE COTTON MILL LOFTS
EXPERIENCED THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WITH THE ROOF BLOWN OFF AND
EXTERIOR WALLS OF THE TOP /FOURTH/ FLOOR BLOWN INWARD. TWO SECTIONS
OF THE FOURTH FLOOR COLLAPSED ALL THE WAY INTO BASEMENT OF THE
BUILDING...TRAPPING SEVERAL PEOPLE IN THE COMPLEX.

ONE FATALITY OCCURRED IN A PARKING LOT ACROSS DECATUR STREET NEAR
THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR MARTA STATION WHEN A BRICK AND STUCCO WALL
COLLAPSED ON THE VICTIM. THIRTY NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES ALSO
OCCURRED...MANY FROM BROKEN OR FALLING GLASS.

THE NWS IS GRATEFUL TO THE ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR PROVIDING
AERIAL SURVEY SUPPORT AND TO THE ATLANTA/FULTON COUNTY EMA FOR THEIR
ASSISTANCE.

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