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Tornadoes in North & Central Georgia - Photos
February 18, 2009

Putnam, Wilkes, and Jasper Counties

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A strong upper level disturbance and cold front moved through the Southeast late Wednesday night, February 18, 2009. Ahead of this front, a very warm and moist airmass was in place across Georgia, with temperatures rising into the upper 60s and lower 70s across most of the state. Strong southerly winds at the surface and strong westerly winds aloft combined with this unstable airmass to produce an outbreak of supercell thunderstorms beginning Wednesday afternoon and lasting through early Thursday morning. Surveys conducted by meteorologists from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City, as well as by the Forecast Office in Columbia, SC, and county Emergency Management officials confirmed that at least 10 tornadoes occurred across north and central Georgia. The images below show some of the damage caused by the Putnam County, Wilkes County and 2 Jasper County tornadoes. The Jasper and Putnam county areas were surveyed by meteorologists from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City. The Wilkes county areas were surveyed by meteorologists from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Columbia, SC.


The tornado that hit Wilkes County touched down in the Tyrone Community around 7:10 pm and continued on the ground for more than 18 miles into McDuffie County. A cinder block home was completely destroyed with debris up to a half mile downstream. 15 other homes also sustained damage, with 19 out buildings and a commercial chicken house destroyed. This EF3 tornado caused 1 injury along its path.

The tornado that hit Putnam County touched down near Willard around 7:15 pm and continued on the ground for 7 plus miles to Eatonton, very close to Georgia Highway 16. A restaurant was destroyed in Eatonton, as well as two other buildings. Numerous trees were uprooted with at one injury reported. This EF1 tornado caused 1 injury along its path.

The first tornado that hit Jasper County touched down near the Smithboro community around 7:20 pm and continued on the ground for 3 miles. Several homes were damaged along the path and a saw mill was destoyed. This EF1 tornado caused no fatalities or injuries along its path.

The second tornado that hit Jasper County touched down 9 miles west-northwest of Shady Dale around 8:00 pm and continued on the ground for approximately 6.5 miles. Minor damage was sustained by 5 homeswith major damage noted to a small cottage. More than 100 trees were down along the path. This EF1 tornado caused no fatalities or injuries along its path.

Other photos...

Samples of Damage Seen During NWS Survey...

 


In Wilkes County... ( click images to enlarge )
[ Remnants of destroyed home. ]
Remnants of destroyed home.
[ Another view of destroyed home. ] Another view of destroyed home.  [ Debris from destroyed home. ]
Debris from destroyed home.

 


In Putnam County... ( click images to enlarge )
[ Aerial view of damage along Glen Road. ]
Aerial view of damage along Glen Road.
[ Close up damage to home along Glen Road. ] Close up damage to home along Glen Road.  [ Damage to a mobile home. ]
Damage to a mobile home.

 


In Jasper County from the first tornado... ( click images to enlarge )
[ Roof damage. ]
Roof damage.
[ Aerial view of roof damage. ] Aerial view of roof damage.  [ Damage to home. ]
Damage to home.

 


In Jasper County from the second tornado... ( click images to enlarge )
[ Trees down in front of home. ]
Trees down in front of home.
[ Structural damage on Post Road. ] Structural damage on Post Road.  [ Trees on home on Post Road. ]
Trees on home on Post Road.

 

 

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