Pickens County escaped with minimal damage from a major storm system moving through the area Wednesday night.
The storm tore through a large portion of North Georgia, with most damage in Adairsville in Bartow County, where a tornado touched down demolishing certain areas of the town. Images from the storm show cars and tractor trailers overturned and houses pummeled to splinters. Other images show a colossal funnel cloud, black and bearing down on the town. A 51 year old man was reported dead after a tree crashed through his mobile home, in addition to nine reported injuries. A manufacturing plant, local businesses and residential areas were also damaged in the storm, while debris littered the area and was seen festooned from tree branches around town.
North of Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin sustained wind and flood damage. In Gilmer, trees were thrown across back roads. One photograph showed a tree-pummeled housetop and pick-up truck crushed by an enormous tree. In Ellijay, the storm caused flooding and heavy wind damage, while Fannin County sustained similar damage. FYN caught images in Fannin County of fallen trees across roads that had pulled down power lines with them.
But, Pickens County sustained relatively little damage from the storm. Amicalola EMC in Jasper only reported one storm-related power outage. The power company, though, confirmed the outage has been resolved. However, Amicalola also said it’s currently dealing with another issue unrelated to the storm. According to a conversation with the Pickens County Government office today, the office did not receive any reports of storm damage or related concerns in the wake of the storm. The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office also did not report any storm related calls or issues last night.
County EMA Director Bob Howard, though, said the county was prepared for the worst. In a correspondence with FYN yesterday, Howard said the county’s emergency operations center opened at 7:00 A.M. Wednesday morning.
“Emergency support staff from Fire, EMS, 911 and the Sheriffs Office were at their posts and had unified their plans in the event that Pickens County was hit, as (it) was (hit) in 2011,”
he stated. He went on to say that a tornado warning was issued at 11:00 with all county sirens activated, adding that Code Red reached out to 1,248 phones in the west end of the county with the warning. However, the storm’s super cell passed through the west end of the county. The cell was high enough, though, not have any direct effects on the area. Howard also said that several trees through out the county fell due to saturated ground and the wind resulted in only minor outages, which have been resolved.
“There were some reports of minor flooding with one person leaving (his) home because of rising water concerns,”
Howard said, adding the Fire and Rescue Team had no reports of storm related rescues.
“When it was all said and done our county was the lucky one,”
The storm hit much of the Southeast and as far west as Missouri. The forecast for today is clear with a high temperature of 46 degrees. However, more rain is expected to move into the area over the weekend.