Cleanup begins after storms ravage Georgia communities - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cleanup begins after storms ravage Georgia communities

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Crews at work clearing roads in Summerville, Georgia. Crews at work clearing roads in Summerville, Georgia.
The Silver Creek Mini Mart suffered significant damage during Monday's storms. The Silver Creek Mini Mart suffered significant damage during Monday's storms.

People all around the metro area are cleaning up the damage left behind by Monday's powerful round of storms.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched down for 13 miles on Monday, going through Pike and Meriwether counties. The tornado packed winds of up to 120 mph.


Buildings in Meriwether suffered damage and strong winds in Pike County knocked down trees, tore down walls and blew roofs off of buildings. Chattooga, Floyd and Polk counties also suffered significant damage.


The Silver Creek community in Floyd County was one of the hardest hit areas. The storm destroyed the Silver Creek Mini Mart.  Employees were inside the store at the time, and they hid where they could when the storms blew through. They sustained only minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Nancy Snead said that she had sought shelter inside the store.

"Finally got in the store and I heard the store start ripping -- just like it was ripping. The top of the store was coming off and everything was flying everywhere. And I just went down on my knees and held on to the rack that I was close to, and tried to put my hand over my head trying to keep it from getting in my head because stuff was hitting me all over my body. And pray, that is all you could do is pray," said Snead.

Snead was one of several people inside the store at the time the storm rolled through. Store clerk Stacy McRae said that when she saw front door fly open and merchandise in the air, she and a customer ran to the beer cooler to take cover while three others ran to the bathroom.

"Both coolers beside us were completely gone. Whenever I reopened up my eyes, the roof was gone and everything was caved in on this side and this side. Even the doors were crashed in when we went through," McRae said.

Outside the store, Rockmart Road was covered with debris.

Power crews worked to restore power to 3,000 Floyd County residents.

Officials said there were a total of seven injuries in the area; five of those were minor from the mini mart while 2 others were in nearby Cave Spring.

The damage was estimated at more than $500,000. That number is expected to increase as the damage continues to be assessed.


Fierce winds also damaged and destroyed structures in Pike County.

Farmers said that several barns were destroyed. Residents in the community worked to make sure their cattle were secured and fed on Tuesday.

Hundreds of trees were downed in the area, knocking down some power lines and causing some road blocks.


In the Chattooga County town of Summerville, the sound of chainsaws and backhoes could be heard as homeowners and crews started the process of rebuilding by clearing downed trees. One Summerville resident says he was almost hit by a falling tree while he was walking along Sixth Avenue.

"I'd seen all these dark clouds over here and next thing I know, I got past the tree going to the store and it just came down. I just took off," said witness Claude Foster.

The National Weather Service told area officials that the damage in Summerville may have been caused by straight-line winds, and not a tornado.

A boil water advisory is posted for residents in Polk County and northern Haralson County, including the Felton community. When the storms knocked out power, it created low water pressure in the system. Residents are being advised to boil their water for a full minute after it reaches a rolling boil.

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