January 30th, 2013
05:13 PM ET

State of emergency declared in 2 Georgia counties after tornado strikes

[Update 5:13 p.m. ET] The storm system has settled down from severe levels as it moves east into the Carolinas. Further updates on Wednesday's weather and its aftermath will appear at this link.

[Update 4:48 p.m. ET] All tornado warnings in the Southeast have expired, the National Weather Service says.

[Update 4:43 p.m. ET] Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in Bartow and Gordon counties, where a tornado caused heavy damage earlier today. The declaration makes state resources immediately available to the two counties, Deal said.

[Update 4:17 p.m. ET] Tornado warnings are currently in effect in these counties:

In Georgia: Crawford, Lamar, Lee, Monroe, Talbot, Taylor, Terrell, Upson
In South Carolina: Greenville, Oconee, Pickens
In North Carolina: Transylvania

[Updated 4:04 p.m. ET] The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning until 9:30 p.m. for Transylvania County, North Carolina, as the storm system pushes east. The service said 3 to 4 inches of rain had already fallen in the Greenville-Spartanburg area, with an additional 1 to 2 inches - and perhaps 5 inches - expected through the evening.

[Updated 3:19 p.m. ET] High school student Matt Davis was home sick from school today, so he and his father went to see the damage from severe storms that rolled through Gallatin, Tennessee, overnight. He sent images to CNN iReport.

"That's right at the front of my neighborhood," Davis, 16, said. "As soon as you turn down one street, it looks like the trees got shredded to pieces. It looks like there's a lane of trees that got torn out. The back of the neighborhood looks like nothing happened," he said.

Nearby, the Fairview Plantation, a historic farm, was heavily damaged, Davis said.

"The plantation was a horse farm. Those (buildings) have been standing there for 100 to 200 years," he said. "It was sad to see those collapsed and caved in."

Weather damage in your area? If you can do so safely, send photos or video to iReport.

[Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET] There has been another reported tornado in Mountaintown, Georgia, in Gilmer County, according to the National Weather Service, which now has a tornado watch in effect till 8 p.m. for more than 80 Georgia counties.

[Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET] CNN's Mallory Simon reports that several flights out of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International are canceled, including to airports in North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama. Other flights are delayed, including flights to airports in Washington and Virginia, she said.

[Updated at 2:08 p.m. ET] We now have footage of various storm damage in Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky.

[Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET] Gail Ralston with Adairsville Towing and Automotive told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at about 1 p.m. that power is off throughout Adairsville. Motorists were calling for help, but officials were allowing only emergency personnel in the area near where the twister struck, she told the paper.

[Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET] An unidentified truck driver wearing the name tag that reads "Travis" tells CNN affiliate WGCL-TV that he saw cars being thrown in the air before the truck he was driving got flipped on its side. Two firefighters extracted him from the truck, and he said he feels lucky to be alive.

[Updated 1:54 p.m. ET] The National Weather Service is reporting that tornadoes have struck in Indiana and Kentucky.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] Meteorologists keep citing "bow echoes" in their storm reporting. Curious what it means. The National Weather Service has an explanation here.

[Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET] Kennesaw, Georgia, police are asking that people stay away from Adairsville as officials search for storm victims.

[tweet https://twitter.com/KennesawPolice/status/296684830064787456%5D

[Posted at 1:36 p.m. ET] There is at least one storm-related death, and numerous cars are overturned on Interstate 75 after a tornado struck Adairsville, Georgia, the National Weather Service reported.

The twister touched down before noon in the city of about 4,600 located roughly midway between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee, the weather service reported, adding that two other tornadoes were reported in the region - one in east Lindale, another in southeast Calhoun.

Numerous buildings, some with people inside, were damaged in northern Bartow County after a tornado touched down Wednesday morning. One person is dead, and officials believe it's the result of a building collapsing, Bartow County Fire Chief Craig Millsap said.

[tweet https://twitter.com/wsbtv/status/296661060323266560%5D

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution further reported that "dozens" of vehicles were overturned on I-75 in Bartow, and local news reports aired images of scores of cars stopped on the highway. The paper also the tornado leveled a large manufacturing plant in Adiarsville.

All lanes of 75, both northbound and southbound, were blocked at milepost 306 in Georgia, the state's Department of Transportation reported.

Meanwhile, Georgia Power says its reports of outages have been "fairly light."

[tweet https://twitter.com/GeorgiaPower/status/296682432885829633%5D

A reporter for CNN affiliate WSB-TV said he saw the tornado form as he arrived in Adairsville on Wednesday morning. At least one home was leveled, and cars were flipped over, the station reported.

Bartow County police and fire dispatchers told the Journal-Constitution there were injuries and numerous calls of trauma in and around Adairsville before 11:30 a.m. ET, and one call to the fire department reported that a building in Adiairsville was ablaze and five people were trapped inside.

The paper further reported one call involved an overturned car with someone inside. Many roads in the area are impassable, the paper said.

In the north Georgia, there were reports of winds between 20 and 40 mph, with gusts of 35 to 50 mph, the weather service reported.

In Nashville, Tennessee, a man told CNN affiliate WTVF that his wife's uncle was killed when a tree fell on a shed about 3 a.m. Tornado warnings were issued in Middle Tennessee overnight, and CNN affiliate WKRN reported that a possible tornado touched down in Mt. Juliet.

WKRN also reported an overturned 18-wheeler, brush fires, roof damage and trees down in the Mt. Juliet area.

There were also reports of storm damage overnight or Wednesday morning in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky.

Post by:
Filed under: Weather
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Rufus

    Sure they have, but both the frequency and severity of such storms have dramatically increased over the last decade. These storms are happening before the season traditionally begins!

    January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. How embarrassing

    I have spent the last hour watching CNN news and kept waiting for an update or even a live report.. As the headline on their web page has this as the breaking story, the news room decided we needed to know about Bill Gates and his views on education, and then there was the all important report on the $135million dollar home, and maybe a mention of the shooting in AZ that they will be monitoring and reporting on even .. and then finally.. they give a report on their top story. My goodness, who is in control of CNN???

    January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • JADMAN

      You do understand CNN is based in Atlanta, don't you?

      They just might have some logistics issues to which you aren't privvy.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • sly

      Dude, it's just a rainstorm. Someone died driving in a storm.

      I'd say office shootings in Arizona, or Bill Gates on education, are just as important, if not more newsworthy.

      Get off your horse and stop blaming everyone else in the world for your personal issues. Typical American.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Glenn

    You are smarter than that God . There was so much pork in that bill that even Michael Bloomberg was livid .

    January 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tron

    Could be a night shift employee on his off night or someone who just couldn't sleep. A lot of people work on their hobbies in their sheds when they can't sleep, some folks just can't sit and watch tv all night.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. n222s

    Glenn, there are many transplants, to be sure. To give the impression that they are omnipresent is wrong. Once you get out of Atlanta metro there are still many born and raised. These natives, along with the good hearted people from other parts of the country who now call GA home will respond to the needs of their neighbors. They won't sit still for months while their neighbors are in unheated tents. Call the local Adairsville churches still standing. They have already opened their doors.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. r2g

    Severe storm in columbus area. Georgia, not Ohio.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robin

    From one story I read, it seems like he lived in the shed. Probably slept there, ate with the family and showered in the house. It's not as uncommon as you think.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gonzalo

    I agree with you about what the weather does to homes.I also feel sorry for the people that lose the home because of the weather.Do you hate what the weather does to people house?

    January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Meekee

    The clear answer to this issue is to limit magazine capcities to just 6.3 bullets each.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • phillip

      @Meekee – This joke is getting very very old.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JADMAN


      January 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    Home sick from school, and yet he has the energy to go out and survey the damage? Something tells me he's faking...

    January 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • betterdays

      Yep, first phrase in the first sentence. Great parenting!

      January 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rufus

    "For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” (James 1:13)
    “Time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
    “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19)

    If you claim that you are Christian and read the bible, then take note of the above scriptures which help show God has nothing to do with these things happening. Why don't you try blaming his nemesis instead.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jcvet33

    Do any of the horrid liberals making these discusting comments realize CNN is in Atlanta

    January 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave T

    You see those hurricane route signs; Can there be new tornado route signs? For those who are on the roads, highways that go N and S would be closed to where these storms are about to cross. The same could be done for roads that go E and W. Most storms go to the NE. The timing of these storms would indicate when these large sections of roads are to close. The tornado route signs would point people off of these highways to that of waiting businesses, like hotels and restaurants. This would happen until these storms have crossed these sections of highways and the roads are then reopened,

    January 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JADMAN

      Do you realize storms move rather rapidly, dont you?

      Life is not the internet – you cant push a button and close 40 miles of freeway.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Myto Senseworth

    ""High school student Matt Davis was home sick from school today"" Wasn't too sick..

    January 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JADMAN

      This is what you fixated on?

      Really – get an education. Stupidity is very costly.

      To us all.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sly

      Wow – we have a winner in the stupidist comment of the day.

      My Two cents? You would need 1000 comments to come close to a penny.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobmacadowasthebest

    he could have been checking on animals he was responsible for

    January 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7