Turner County gets storm damage again - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Turner County gets storm damage again

February 26, 2008

Ashburn --  Around lunchtime, strong winds knocked out power, blew down trees and tore up roofs in Ashburn.

More than 60 homes and business were damaged, and with this fast-moving storm, there was no time for a warning this time.

Uprooted trees and lifted sidewalks show the force of the storm. Shelley Zorn of the Turner County Chamber of Commerce  watched from her door at the Chamber. "Our doors just blew open and that's when we saw the trees falling across the street and the power lines falling but it was very very quick, less than a minute, real quick."

Edgar Perry, owner of the Perry Funeral Home, was getting ready to go to Cordele when shingles blew off the rood of his funeral home. "The other guys said they could hear it, we were in the back office part where much of the damage is."

Dennis Summer wasn't in the office at the G & S Phillips 66 but another worker was when the windows shattered in the winds. "There were some high winds that came through, were estimating between 60 and 70 mile per hour," he said.

The force of the storm upended a silo onto the roof of a Golden Peanut Company office building. There was no storm warning because there wasn't time.

"There was no warning from the National Weather Service whatsoever, none at all," said Turner County EMA Director Pete Giddens.  "We were under a thunder storm watch for the area from ten this morning to about three this afternoon. I thank News Center 10 for displaying that so prominently, too."

That's why they say when watches are issued people should take it as seriously as a warnings and prepare for the potential that weather could quickly become severe. It's a lesson the people of Ashburn know all too well.

Tree experts are in town to remove limbs. County and city workers are taking care of trees that were downed on city and county property.

In neighboring Irwin County, strong winds near Ocilla tossed cargo trailers around at the Forest River Plant.   Company surveillance video shows the high wind flipping the trailers.

While weather officials have not said if a tornado touched down in Irwin County, employees believe a small twister is to blame for the damage.

The plant manager estimates damage at $200,000 to $300,000. There were no injuries reported.

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