Devastating Twister Slams Georgia

Jan 30, 2013 5:30pm

A deadly tornado that touched down in Adairsville, Ga., today brought a stunning view to witnesses.

The sky looked like it was falling as the tornado ripped across the land an hour north of Atlanta. The tornado tore across Interstate 75, sending debris everywhere and killing one person.

Glenn Burns, the chief meteorologist  for ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta, urged locals to take shelter in their basements and stay safe.

“Put on a bicycle helmet,” he said. “Put your shoes on.”

Witnesses said the tornado was on the ground, crushing through homes, office buildings and asphalt for more than 20 minutes. Winds were estimated at more than 125 miles per hour, making it an F-2 category twister.

The tornado left behind what looked like a junkyard with twisted semitrailers and tossed SUVs. Police had to rescue families trapped inside their crumbled homes, with at least one person dead.

Travis Richardson was in his 18-wheeler when the tornado lifted his truck off the ground and threw it off the road.

“I couldn’t believe it picked up my truck and flipped it over like that,” he said. “I can’t believe it.”

Today’s extreme weather is part of a storm front that stretches more than 900 long miles. As it moved across the country, the storm brought high winds to Texas, high water to Missouri and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in Green County, Ind.

A powerful wind gust blew over a State Police helicopter at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Penn., shortly after it landed this morning. No one was hurt.

Today’s misery also reached Quinn County, Tenn., where families who survived another tornado are counting their blessings.

“It was just the worst sound I’ve ever heard in my life,” one female survivor said.

There are extreme weather warnings across the East Coast from the Florida panhandle to Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., Washington and Richmond. Slick weather is expected to hit as far north as New York.

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