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LaGrange residents survive second tornado in a month

The National Weather Service said it was an EF-1 tornado that struck Troup County before dawn Friday morning.

LAGRANGE, Ga. — Residents of Troup County in west Georgia survived another tornado early Friday morning – an EF-1 tornado, according to the National Weather Service. It was just over a month ago when even more violent tornadoes slammed into Troup County and roared east toward Spalding County and beyond, shredding property and upending lives.

The tornado on Friday tore through neighborhoods of the Hillside community,  just southwest of Downtown LaGrange.

It was a sudden, stunning blast of violent winds, which brewed up so fast, the National Weather Service never had a chance to issue a tornado warning.

“It was just deafening,” Scott Arrington said.

Arrington and his wife Robyn were in their upstairs bedroom in their home on Forrest Avenue. It was 4:30 a.m.

“We were screaming at each other trying to figure out what was going on, we couldn’t even hear each other,” Arrington said. “The whole house was shaking, moving back and forth, vibrating. Debris from outside was just twirling all around the house, just like the tornado was sitting right on top of our house.”

The tornado pulled up a century-old hardwood and dropped it onto Randall Adams’ house on Forrest Avenue.

Inside, the ceilings are now on the newly refinished hardwood floors.

Adams had been renovating the old home for the past two years.

“Almost finished,” Adams said with a chuckle. Two years of work – destroyed in seconds.

“Could be worse,” he said. “I’m thankful no one was injured.”

At nearby Callaway Park, bleachers sailed across the field, and through the park's fence.

Part of the roof of a county government building, where the Troup County Health Department is located, was torn off.

Streets and roads were blocked by fallen trees.

The huge tree that fell onto Randall Adams' house was Freda Warlick's tree; it had been in her front yard since long before she moved in, in 1960. 

Friday morning, she was asleep in her bed. Suddenly, she was flying.

“I flew up in the air and landed on the floor,” Ms. Warlick said. “And all my stuff was all spread out. Everything jumped up.”

Warlick said that as soon as she made sure everyone was okay, she remembered how worried she’s been that she couldn’t afford any more firewood.

She was out. Until now. 

Cleanup and repairs, already underway, are expected to take weeks to complete.

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