Tornado leaves storm damage in Randolph Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Storm leaves damage in Randolph Co.

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

RANDOLPH, GA (WALB) - Benevolence was one of the hardest hit areas of the storm.  People who live there say a tornado touched down Saturday night, leaving one home wrapped around a tree, several damaged buildings and downed trees all over the county.

Cleanup continues as church friends and neighbors help Shari Fort salvage what she can from her mobile trailer. Neighbors say a tornado picked it up and wrapped it around this tree in Benevolence.

"It rocked four or five times and slammed me up against that tree," said Fort.

Fort says she saw wind blowing debris outside her window, so she ran to the bathroom for shelter.

"I saw stuff flying past the sliding glass door so I just prayed, " Under His Wings," Fort added as she became lodged between the cabined and toilet when her trailer turned over.

Some neighbors came over and helped her out. She says one women even knelt down so Fort could step on her to get out.

"When I realized I was okay I was like thank you Jesus," Ford noted.

She also counts her blessings her dogs and horses all survived. Several miles east on Highway 41, the storm left a path of destruction through the Olivers' yard as it uprooted trees, cracked the pillars on their home, broke windows, and damaged part of their roof. It managed to miss other objects including a car and a tractor.

"We're devastated but it's a miracle no body was hurt and the house it still here," said Betty Oliver.

Mrs. Oliver and her husband were not home at the time. They could see the twister form from their son's restaurant in Shellman. Down the street from the Olivers, a church had to put service on hold after the storm blew off part of the siding.

Neighbors found the sign to New Hope Baptist Church all the way down Highway 41 when they picked it up and put it back in the yard.

Work crews are cutting down trees, after one fell on top of the kitchen. Author Ferguson grew up gong to New Hope. He has a cell phone picture of the tornado that roared through.

"It's like nothing you'd ever hear," said Ferguson. "It sounded like a train coming through."

As clean-up continues, people in Randolph County are just glad no one was seriously hurt. Fort and the Olivers have insurance.  Power was out briefly Saturday night but restored early Sunday morning.

The Olivers have lived in their home off Highway 41 for 20 years. They say they've never seen a storm this powerful.

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