Severe weather damages homes; sends three to hospital

Storm Damage for web

SHEILA MATHEWS :::

Severe weather struck Spalding County Monday night causing severe damage to at least one home, moderate damage to a second and directly caused two wrecks on Highway 92 in the vicinity of Bicycle Road.
Initially reported as a tornado to Spalding County Manager William Wilson by E-911 personnel at 10:18 p.m., officials later said its classification is unknown.
“I think preliminary indications are unclear. I have not seen enough yet to confirm it was a tornado,” said Spalding County Fire Department Chief Kenny West, who also serves as Spalding County Emergency Management Agency director. “It may have been a micro burst. Tomorrow, when the National Weather Service comes out, hopefully they’ll be able to confirm whether it was a tornado. Whatever it was – a tornado or micro burst – it caused a lot of damage.”
Emergency personnel on the scene said residents in the area reported hearing what sounded like a train rumbling through, which is often associated with tornadic activity, and one man reported experiencing the sensation of air being sucked from his home.
Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam said he is aware of damage to two residences.
“At 4415 Fayetteville Highway, a tree actually fell into it. The residents were home, but they were not injured,” he said of the elderly couple occupying the residence. “The house next door, 4001 Fayetteville Highway, is a vacant house and it had some damage to it, as well – an exterior wall. It took some trees down in the back of the houses, too.”
Beam also reported two vehicles were damaged when they struck a tree that had fallen and blocked Highway 92.
One was traveling eastbound, one westbound. The latter, a pickup truck, sustained moderate front-end damage, but the driver was uninjured. Three occupants of the vehicle traveling westbound were transported by ambulance to the emergency room of Spalding Regional Hospital. Their conditions were unknown by emergency personnel remaining on scene.
Officials of the National Weather Service made contact with Spalding EMA personnel just prior to 1 a.m. and are expected to visit the area Tuesday.
The Grip will continue to follow this story and report updates as additional information becomes available.

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