Thomas County losses many homes to tornado -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County losses many homes to tornado

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

Thomasville, GA (WALB) - Tornadoes left a storm path 16 miles long and destroyed 29 homes in Thomas County.

What came quickly in the night gave way to a daytime view of destruction. Few in Thomasville could have prepared themselves for the aftermath of a tornado, two that touched down in the city early Thursday morning, littering it with downed trees and debris and causing damage to dozens of homes.

"We had a significant weather event right now we have approximately 170 homes that were affected," said Thomas Co. Deputy EMA Director Lisa Griffis.

One of those belongs to Rolonzo Hill, who rode out the tornado in the mobile home he shares with his mother. Both were asleep when the storm hit.

"Getting up out of your sleep, I realized what it was and I went immediately and yelled for my mom, and she said she was ok, and I went inside the bathroom," said Hill.  "Very scared."

Their home was left in shambles- glass blown out of the windows, furniture tossed about, and the roof- much of it ripped off. The story was much the same with neighboring homes in the Bayview Estate mobile home community. You couldn't walk far without seeing powers lines across the road and trees smashed through homes and on top of cars.

"Looking at threes here, hundreds I guess you could are down. Hundreds some you can tell are twisted off about half way up others are up from the ground by the roots," said Deputy Chief Gary Dollar of the Thomasville Fire Dept. 

GEMA officials got a view of the damage via helicopter. On Metcalf Road, chainsaws ran nonstop, cutting up pine tree after pine tree, and Southwestern State Hospital patients were evacuated early this morning from a facility hit hard by damaging winds.

The cleanup effort will take days if not weeks, and while it may not seem true, luck was on the side of Thomasville. Despite the damage, no one was seriously injured.

Thomas County Utilities tell us only 600 customers remain without power.