Tornado confirmed in Troup
by Wes Mayer
Authorities with the National Weather Service have determined a tornado that downed trees and caused damage in Troup County did not touch down in Coweta County late Monday, and there were no reports of damage to homes or power lines here.
Jay Jones, Coweta County Emergency Management director, said on Tuesday that field technicians with the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City assessed the area of southwest Coweta County near Corinth to see if a tornado might have touched down in a sparsely populated area.
Technicians determined a tornado did not touch down in Coweta – but one did touch down in northern Troup County, prompting Coweta to be placed in a tornado warning around 7 p.m. Monday. According to Jones, the tornado lifted before reaching Coweta County.
Trisha Palmer with the National Weather Service told the Associated Press on Tuesday that an EF2 (Enhanced Fujita scale) tornado was confirmed to have touched down in Troup County around 7 p.m., traveled five-and-a-half miles in 10 minutes – moving 120 mph – and damaged four to six homes in the area. There were no injuries, but the tornado caused extensive damage to trees.
The first wave of Monday’s line of storms moving in from the west hit Coweta County between 7 to 7:30 p.m., during which the county was placed in a tornado warning. The emergency weather sirens were sounded in Grantville twice, Jones said, and a number of ball fields were evacuated by public safety personnel.
The Grantville City Council was in session when a tornado warning for that part of the county was issued. Police officers came into the city council chambers with the information about 7:05.
“We are under a tornado warning until 7:45," Mayor Jim Sells told the people present for the meeting. He offered audience members an opportunity to leave the building.
Most people stayed, and the meeting continued. “This is probably as good a place to be as any," Sells said.
The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road in Newnan was the site of senior honors night for East Coweta High School on Monday. The event was not canceled, but everyone was asked to get off the stage, and audience members in the higher seats were asked to move down a level for safety purposes. The program was delayed about 15 minutes.
After another line of storms moved through in the early morning hours Tuesday, Jones said, around 6:30 a.m. there were three reported downed trees in Coweta – one near the intersection of Oliver Potts Road and Roscoe Road, another near the intersection of Welcome Road and Jack Russell Road, and a third along the 200-block of Welcome Road.
A flood watch is in effect for Coweta until around 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. One to three inches of rainfall is expected to cover north and central Georgia – flooding may affect areas near creeks or rivers, or roads may flood near ditches or storm drains.
According to the National Weather Service, a hazardous weather outlook was in effect in north and central Georgia beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing overnight. Possible hazardous weather included the possibility of damaging winds, hail, isolated tornadoes and lightning.
The risk of severe thunderstorms will continue today with a 60 percent chance, and damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are the most likely threat, according to the National Weather Service. There’s a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight, and the forecast for Thursday is mostly sunny with a high of 71 degrees.
Around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Georgia Power released a statement that severe weather caused 75,000 power outages statewide – mostly around metro Atlanta and areas in north and west Georgia. Throughout Tuesday, Georgia Power employees were able to restore power to 55,000 customers, but as of midday Tuesday, more than 17,000 Georgia Power customers were without power.