Tornadoes rip through South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tornadoes rip through South Georgia

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December 5, 2005

Sylvester- High winds literally blew the roofs off of several buildings littering streets in the downtown area.

"I looked out the window and I could see metal flying in the air rotating," says Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta.

Yearta was just one of dozens of residents working in downtown businesses when the tornado hit.

"You couldn't see nothing. It was just a wall, a curtain of water and trees swirling around. I told my daughter, I said we've got to go. That's a tornado," says downtown businessman, Joe Delinsky.

Witnesses say the storm hit Sylvester about 12:15, and in less than five minutes it was gone. "I've seen them before, not that close, but I don't want to see it again," Delinsky says.

The storm snapped several utility poles and trees at the intersection of West and Livingston Streets. One even crushed a vehicle. A car was damaged in the SunTrust Bank drive-thru. The east side of the buildings roof also suffered damage.

A caravan of law enforcement vehicles transported about 35 inmates to Tift County after winds toppled a communications tower and damaged the Worth County jail. But as soon as it was over residents began cleaning up trees and limbs.

Business owners wasted no time boarding up. Still residents say they're thankful. "I feel very blessed. I guess it could have been worse than what it was, but it's still scary. There's kids right here at the church and folks in businesses. You look around and things are beat up, and bent up, and blown around, but we're still here," says Delinsky.

A tornado also touched down in Clinch County a little after three o'clock Monday afternoon. It knocked down trees and power lines and damaged one house just south of Dupont.

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