“An area of low pressure developed over the lower Mississippi Valley region and moved through portions of Alabama and Northwest Georgia through the afternoon and evening hours of December 22,” states the summary on www.srh.noaa.gov. “Along and ahead of this feature, a low level wind profile was in place, conducive for the formation of tornadoes given sufficient storm development. Three storms embedded within a larger line of moderate showers were able to reach an intensity that enabled them to take advantage of the wind profile and produce tornadoes.”
The summary stated that the storm “spawned the first tornado west of Rome, Ga.”
An EF2 funnel caused damage to several homes in Rome subdivisions.
The summary states that the storm hit “maximum intensity” near Boone Ford Road in the Sonoraville area of Gordon County
The storm weakened to EFO level and dissipated east of Calhoun, the website states.
A home at the corner of Beason and Boone Ford Roads in Gordon County was completely destroyed, and a number of other houses and structures in the area saw significant damage.
Gordon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy0 Robert Paris said Sonoraville, Farmville, Plainview, Talking Rock and Gardner Springs communities all experienced damage. Paris said no fatalities or major injuries have been reported.
North Georgia EMC said 3,000 were left without power Thursday, and more than 300 people had no electricity Thursday morning.
Paris said strong winds knocked over a damaged pole on Beason Road Monday night and left many people in the area without power again.
Caught in the storm
Local residents, Nina Dixson and her two daughters, 9 and 12, were traveling down Boone Ford Road when the storm hit.
“I was coming off of Owens Chapel Road and the rain started to pick up more and all of the sudden I couldn’t see at all,” Dixson said. “Everything was black.”
She said a tree then fell in front of the black Chevy Tahoe she was driving.
“It fell, so I put it (the Tahoe) in reverse and backed up a little bit, but I could feel the Tahoe moving a little bit,” she recalled.
“The girls were screaming and I said to them ‘we’re OK, we’re OK.’”
Dixson said she wasn’t sure of what she could do or couldn’t do, so she continued to drive a little further down the road and stopped the vehicle once she discovered power lines were down around her.
“I didn’t realize it was a tornado at the time,” she said, “but it had to be.”
Dixson said she was only a mile and half away from her home when the storm hit.
Witness Anne Kelley was at her home when the storm came through the Boone Ford Road area. Although she said her house was spared, her brother’s, Regan Stone, home was not.
The right side of Stone’s home suffered the most damaged with shingles and siding now missing from the home. His front porch also collapsed.
Kelley, who lives within walking distance from her brother’s home, said the storm sounded like a loud whistling train and only lasted for a couple of minutes.
“Everything went black,” she said.