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ATLANTA WEATHER | Tornadoes hit Haralson, Paulding, Cobb counties

2:01 PM, Mar 5, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Man trapped under debris for three hours

Video: Cobb Storm Damage

  • Paulding County was hit hard by Friday's storms.
  • Randy Bonner's dog Roxy lost her home, but survived the storm in Haralson County.
    

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- National Weather Service officials said preliminary investigations of storm damage indicate an EF-3 tornado touched down in Paulding and Haralson counties, and an EF-1 touched down in Cobb County Friday night.

STORM PHOTOS | The aftermath 

In Haralson County, the twister touched down along Bethlehem Church Road, where a repair shop was destroyed and trees knocked down. Also on Bethlehem Church Road, a mobile home was pushed off of its foundation. A church steeple was blown off on Mount Zion East Road, and along U.S. 27 near Harpers Creek Road, numerous trees and telephone poles were knocked down.

Fifty-five-year-old Randy Bonner was trapped by debris after his Haralson County house imploded. Neighbors rushed to the scene but were unable to free him. Paramedics needed more than two hours to cut Bonner out of the rubble. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released with scrapes and bruises. Amazingly, it was the only reported injury in Haralson County. Bonner had been distraught over the suspected deaths of his dogs, but miraculously, one of them, Roxy, trotted up during an 11Alive interview.

HELP DESK | How to help students, staff at Pool Elementary

Strong winds slammed Poole Elementary in Dallas, overturning portable classrooms, ripping off portions of the school's roof and knocking over a fence. Classes, however, were expected to resume on Monday.

At the Paulding County Airport off U.S. 278, Georgia Emergency Management Agency officials reported 22 planes were damaged and a hangar was destroyed. "The building will probably have to be taken down and reconstructed," said Blake Wafford, the airport director. Wafford estimated the value of the damaged planes is near $5 million and the damage to the airport itself is between $1 million and $2 million. 

Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin said several neighborhoods off of Polk Avenue, Confederate Avenue, Watson Drive, West Memorial Drive and Old Acworth Road suffered significant damage. County officials said about 100 homes were damaged or destroyed countywide. Power was still out Saturday evening in most of those neighborhoods, but Mayor Austin said he expected power to be restored by Sunday.

Damage was also reported in Cobb County, where weather service officials reported an EF-1 tornado. They said it ran from East Cobb Park down Roswell Road. That storm's track was 150 yards wide.

RELATED | Full and detailed weather blog information

According to GEMA, 30 homes were destroyed statewide in Friday night's storms. They said 66 homes received moderate damage and another 123 homes received minor damage.

The storm system that swept over metro Atlanta was related to a swarm of tornadoes that crossed the Midwest and Southern states.

PHOTOS | Severe storms slam South

Reports of significant damage began appearing late Friday morning in parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, before a part of the swarm hit the southern Indiana town of Henryville, about 20 miles north of Louisville, KY.

Officials in Indiana said the town was literally wiped off the map.

Clark County, IN, emergency management director Leslie Cavanaugh said, "We've got total devestation in the north-central part of the county (and) widespread damage from the west to the east. We are inundated with calls."

More than 30 people were reported killed in the tornado outbreak across the Southeast, Mid-South, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes states.

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