A tornado with a track length of just over 2.5 miles and estimated width of 150-200 yards touched down near Temple on New Year’s Eve between Long Branch Road and Cown Road, according to a report released Sunday by the National Weather Service (NWS).
Although no injuries were reported, the NWS’s Service Assessment indicated that 20 homes were affected by the EF-1 tornado that had maximum winds of around 95 mph. One house was destroyed, three sustained major damage, 10 had minor damage, and a total of 20 homes were affected, according to the report.
A mid-Monday morning announcement issued by Carroll EMC noted that strong winds kept the utility company’s crews out working most of the weekend.
Also putting in long hours during the weekend and on into Monday were Carroll County road maintenance crews.
“We started going out Friday evening to clear roads in the county,” Richard Reid, grading supervisor for the the county’s road maintenance department, said early Monday afternoon while overseeing a crew on North Van Wert Road, “and we’ve been in and out ever since.”
“We’ve got 8 crews out today,” he noted.
The area near North Van Wert Road and Astin Creek Road northwest of Villa Rica, was hard hit as evidenced by spotty, but significant damage.
“Friday afternoon about 5:30 right after dinner I opened the front door to let our dog, Tinker, in and saw all this stuff flying around through the air,” Judy Thomas said Monday afternoon at her residence on Astin Creek Road, “and my husband (Thomas) grabbed me and pulled me back in.”
The mobile home in which the Thomases had lived until Labor Day weekend before they moved into their new house less than 50 yards away was flattened to the ground.
“The garage that was attached to the house collapsed on to our car and boat,” Thomas added, “but the house itself seems to be okay.”
According to Jarrod Kilgore, system engineering supervisor for Carroll EMC, who was quoted in a news release sent out Friday evening’s tornado in the Temple-Villa Rica caused outages on New Year’s Eve for around 1,200 members.
“The tornado broke two poles and had EMC crews working through the night on Cown Road,” he noted.
Kilgore also reported that Sunday night’s cold front which pushed through the area caused wide-spread small outages across the system and affected around 1,000 members throughout the night. Trees blown into the line by strong, gusty winds was cited as the main cause of loss of power.
“At this time, we are aware of one broken pole over-night and currently have 15 device outages affecting 68 people,” Kilgore said Monday morning.
Trees blown into the line by strong, gusty winds were cited as the main cause.
The National Weather Service (NWS) initially reported on New Year’s Day that an EF-1 tornado with winds ranging from 86 to 110 mph from a rare LP supercell struck down near US 78 between Temple and Villa Rica on Friday night. Several trees were uprooted and snapped between Wilton Smith Road to Old Villa Rica Road. As it moved to the northeast, it appeared to strengthen and downed trees along Long Branch Road and across Cown Road.
On Monday, the NWS announced that upon further review, the tornado reached maximum winds of 95 mph. The track length was just over 2.5 miles and had an estimated width of 150-200 yards at its peak.
The NWS extended a winter advisory Sunday that covered Carroll and Douglas counties north to the Tennessee line. There was also a wind advisory announced by the Weather Service for the area from midnight Sunday night to noon Monday for northwest that forecast winds from 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
However, there were no further damage reports during the Sunday through Monday range.