ALBANY, GA (WALB) - South Georgia is known for its unpredictable weather. Frigid cold winter temperatures can be followed by huge warmups in a day's time. But when it comes to tornadoes in the region, the month of February has witnessed its share of deadly and destructive storms.
February 10, 1940 – Albany
Eighteen people were killed and more than 150 were injured were a tornado struck the downtown area in early morning hours. Numerous homes and businesses were destroyed. Hotels along Pine and Broads Avenues were reduced to rubble. President Franklin Roosevelt offered disaster assistance to the city. It cost nearly $5 million to rebuild from the storm.
February 14, 2000 – Mitchell & Grady counties
An EF3 tornado roared through Mitchell County killing 13 people. It packed winds of nearly 160 mph. The twister wiped out an entire neighborhood in Camilla destroying more than 200 homes. A deadly tornado also hit Grady County that day. In all, 18 people died in the storm.
February 19, 2009 – Thomas & Grady counties
Several homes were damaged or destroyed in Thomas and Grady when an EF2 tornado spawned in the early morning hours. The twister touched down south and Cairo and caused considerable damage along U.S Highway 319. Numerous trees and power lines were knocked down. Bayview Mobile Home Estate was one of the hardest hit area. Despite little warning, amazingly, no serious injuries or deaths occurred.
February 21, 2014 – Tift County
Shortly after daybreak an EF0 tornado touched down near U.S. 82 brought down trees and damaged homes and businesses. A baseball academy under construction collapsed and the roof of a rescue center was torn off. Despite the damage, no one was hurt.
March 1, 2007 – Sumter County
While this storm didn't take place in February, an EF3 tornado tore through Americus, destroying a hospital and claiming two lives. A major disaster declaration was declared in the wake of the twister that carved a 38 mile path of destruction through Sumter County.
While tornadoes can strike anytime during the year, it's a reminder to vigilant during times of severe weather. Thanks to technology and advanced warning systems, communities are now better prepared in the event of tornadoes.
You can get early warning of severe weather, the current radar sweep, and a weeks' worth of weather forecasts with the WALB Weather App for free. On your smartphone, go to your app store, and search WALB Weather App.