Forecasters say strong to severe thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon into Friday morning across Georgia. The National Weather Service said the storms are expected mainly in the form of a squall line with damaging winds.
The mayor of Adairsville says more than 1,000 volunteers helped with tornado cleanup in the north Georgia city this weekend. Volunteers arrived Saturday and Sunday to chop up trees and remove debris left from a tornado Wednesday.
Authorities believe a tornado swelled to 900 yards wide -- more than four times the width of the Georgia Dome -- as it tore across northwest Georgia for nearly 22 miles. National Weather Service officials said the Wednesday twister had an estimated peak wind speed of 160 mph when it slammed into Adairsville.
The Paulding Northwest Regional Airport is closed indefinitely after severe weather mangled 19 aircraft and left the hangar in shreds. Meanwhile, students are expected to return to Poole Elementary School Monday, where part of the roof was ripped off and a wall was damaged when the twister swept through Friday night.
Preliminary numbers from the National Weather Service show 95 tornadoes nationwide in January alone. Compare that to 16 last year, including twisters spawned by storms walloping north Georgia, and a three-year January average of just 12 storms. But meteorologists say lots of activity early in the year doesn’t mean much.
A tornado watch covered several counties in western and central Georgia as storms moved into the state from Alabama. Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright said there were about 750 customers with storm-related outages statewide early Monday, about 400 of them in northwest Georgia.