Strong storm damages homes

Published 7:46 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

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Severe weather struck Decatur County Friday morning, leaving a trail of destruction northwest of Bainbridge in the area of Hanover and Cyrene roads near Brinson.

According to the National Weather Service out of Tallahassee, Fla., a possible tornado was first spotted on radar eight miles south of Marianna, Fla. Shortly thereafter, at 10:12 a.m. the service issued a tornado warning for northern Decatur County.

High winds from tornado-like conditions caused extensive damage to a mobile home located at 474 Hanover Road, collapsing two of the exterior walls and tearing off the roof. The resident of the home was not in the home when the destruction occurred.

Kelly Godsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said based on radar data and information they collected, they have listed the area where the storm caused damage as a downburst of straight line winds reaching 70 to 80 miles per hour. He said the straight line winds can be just as damaging as a tornado.

Downburst are intense downdraft that create damaging winds on the ground, sometimes created by a thunderstorm, according to Britannica.com.

A farm shed, located on Brinson Airbase Road near Cyrene Road was also damaged during the storm. The tin roofing on the building was peeled back from the structure.

Numerous trees were reported down in the Bainbridge area. One large tree blocked the entire roadway on Cyrene Road.

A small tree fell on another mobile home on Hanover Road, breaking through the roof into the bedroom of the home, said Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin. He said a resident of home was inside when the tree fell and was uninjured.

Georgia Power reported that two area power substations experienced problems due to the storm leaving between 3,700 and 3,800 residents in the Bainbridge area without power shortly after 10 a.m.

After power was lost, Bainbridge Public Safety officers directed traffic at a number of intersection in West Bainbridge.

Decatur County Schools Superintendent Ralph Jones said all Decatur County schools were under tornado drills and students and teachers went to safe zones each school had previously designated. West Bainbridge Middle School, West Bainbridge Elementary School and the Bainbridge High School’s Performing Learning Center were all affected by the power outages.

A spokesperson for Georgia Power said that all power had been restored to the area shortly after noon.

No injuries or major traffic accidents were reported as a result of the storm.

Saturday’s weather

According to the National Weather Service, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain possible through Saturday night.

The forecast posted on the NWS Web site, www.weather.gov, calls for showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. Some storms could be severe, with heavy rain. The wind will be breezy and there will be a 90 percent chance of rain. Rainfall of between one and two inches will be possible. The weather could clear up late Saturday night. Sunday and Monday should be sunny and clear.

In light of the bad weather expected Saturday, several sporting events have been canceled or postponed:

• The Amanda Regan Memorial 5K run at Bainbridge High School scheduled for today has been postponed;

• The Bainbridge High School’s baseball game against Hardaway High School scheduled for Friday night had been canceled;

• The Bainbridge Rotary Tennis Tournament scheduled for Friday and today has been canceled;

• Bainbridge Leisure Services had canceled all of their little league baseball and softball games for Friday;

• The baseball game scheduled for Friday between Grace Christian Academy and Southwest Georgia Academy had been canceled.