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Preliminary storm survey: Newnan tornado a low-end EF-4; other tornadoes likely

One fatality was reported in association with the storm.

ATLANTA — A preliminary survey by the National Weather Service suggests that the "violent" tornado that tore through Newnan in the overnight hours was an EF-4 storm. That same survey also suggests that there were other possible tornados that hit the state much further north.

According to the damage report, the most damaging tornado that hit Newnan like originated in Heard County, near the Franklin area before cutting through Coweta County before dissipating near or just past the Fayette County line - northwest of Peachtree City. 

One fatality was reported in association with the storm.

The NWS' Friday survey focused on the hardest-hit areas of Newnan - south and southwest of Downtown and in and along the areas surrounding LaGrange Street, Smokey Road and Newnan High School. The NWS said every building of the school sustained damage, with one of the buildings having its roof removed," indicating low end EF-3 damage."

Credit: WXIA

According to the report, dozens of structures "sustained major damage with the second stories of several homes being partially or complete removed." In addition, wide swaths of trees either snapped into or around homes. 

In another smaller, narrower stretch near Fairview Drive and Arlington Court, the NWS said several newly-built homes were completely destroyed "with a few even being partially wiped from the foundation."

Because of the damage patterns, the report estimates the tornado was likely a low-end EF-4 tornado with winds topping out at an estimated 170 mph. EF-4 tornados on the Enhanced Fujita Scale - or EF scale - have winds that range between 166-200 mph. Any tornado with winds over 200 mph is an EF-5.

While the exact start and end times, as well as path length and width, of the Newnan tornado are not yet known, the NWS said they will continue surveys for the next several days to determine that information.

Meanwhile, the NWS said two other tornados likely happened Thursday - one around 12:30 p.m. in Cedartown in Polk County. The second, it said, likely happened just before midnight at 11:55 p.m., north of Cartersville in Bartow County

Outside of the tornadoes, the NWS says that straight-line winds likely also caused damage, as well as severe hail and flooding.

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