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.

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Filed under: Weather
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Anon

    Republican or democrat, people can no longer communicate or make decisions without bringing pain. The system and its people have failed.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JADMAN

      I agree.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abby Normal

      You are right.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Its-Republicans-Fault

    If the Republicans would let me pass a law against global warming, we would not have deadly storms – BO

    January 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • coyote

      tornadoes have been recorded here from the 1800's – no global warming then. If you want to be against global warming for the right reasons, that would be helpful. The earth took millions of years to rid the atmosphere of carbon so that life could form. when we drill and dig we release this carbon all at once. we are killing the earth. period. when we run out of oil the earth's atmosphere will contain so much carbon that life on earth will no longer be sustainable. – that is the Right reason, not a tornado. or two.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeb

    I hope that the victims of this and other freak storms can find some comfort in the fact that Republicans continue to be in total denial of man-made climate change and it's disastrous consequences.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sksk

      It was -10 here last week. Send some of that global warming this way.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Kidding

      Yep, until up to about 50 years ago there were never tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, ice ages, etc. Damn Republicans, damn them to hell.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MashaSobaka

    There's natural danger everywhere. Earthquakes, ice storms, dust storms, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, fires, tornadoes...nowhere is completely safe. I feel awful for those involved with this today. That would be terrifying.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Valkyrie

    Tornadoes in January. Shifting baselines have resulted in a "new normal." Not long from now, we won't know or expect anything different than the weather we presently call "crazy".

    January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abby Normal

      The weather has always been like this.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |

    Everyone out there in the path – BE SAFE.

    Remember when all Americans pulled together during times like these?

    We have allowed politics to infiltrate our very minds.


    No matter who is President, we remain Americans. No wonder the world thinks we are a bunch of violent rednecks.

    We act it.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sly

      Yep well put. Whats funny is that 90% of the politicians think the same way on 90% of the issues.

      What is sad is American's blaming politicians, when 90% of Americans think the same way as the politicians on these issues. The American public is pathetic – they elect people just like them to represent them, then they play the blame game when they don't get everything they want.

      Americans should just look in the mirror the next time they want to whine about our government.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mm

    Where's the photos? Where's the updates since just after lunch time?

    January 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Colin Morgan

    So Matt Davis isn't really sick, he just took the day off to goof around. RAT HIM OUT!

    January 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. frank

    Scary- people have no idea just how bad these storms can be- deadly and dangerous. Always carry a weather radio and fresh batteries.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. COldWarVet75

    "The Obama Administration has pledged to ban all tornadic activity. According to the President this will be done with the help of Congress or by an Executive Order". Eric Holder and the Justice Department deny any knowledge of the EPA's attempt to push storms further south towards MExico.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kevobx

    Those who rejected grace and truth, are not written in the book of life. They love Jesus and the world hates Christ (*Matthew 27:37*) The truth sets one free (Jeremiah 13:19) (*Isaiah 21:1*)

    January 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lelio Risen

    Both Georgia Senators voted against Sandy relief aid. I do not want this state to get a dime of help. If they get anything, let them wait over 3 months before it is even considered for a vote.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georgia Peach

      Our town was hit today by this storm (the same one that hit Adairsville...lots of damage that hasn't made it into the national news...most businesses had to close because of no power..so we lost a days' income...but that's okay..we don't need the government's assistance in putting it all back together. We will do it ourselves.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kevobx

    Who has the gall to rebuild an earthly church, that was destroyed from above? The world does not believe God is one, he is the I as in I am he: Satan is the eye, the eye of the storm. An eye for an eye, as the dollar one is winking at you. *Matthew 12:26 how shall then his kingdom stand?

    January 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    I am at the Tenn. Georgia border on 75 is it open can I get through, whats the best alternate route.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kevobx

    Does Dna come from your parents bloodlines? Who are you calling mental (Matthew 27:25) Did Shakespeake call himself thou for his acts? The Lord our God told us thou shall not.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
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