Weather Related News from Jackson, Banks and Madison Counties...

SEPTEMBER 17, 2004

Click for Jefferson, Georgia Forecast

Tornado Rips through Madison County


Dwayne McElreath sifts through his Ingram Road home of 30 years Friday morning. McElreath was at
work for the Madison County Road Department Thursday when his home was destroyed by a tornado.


A Georgia Department of Transportation clears a tree from U.S. Hwy. 129 (business) in Jefferson on Friday morning. Other than a few fallen trees, Jackson County didn't receive substantial damage from Hurricane Ivan's high winds and rain.

Jackson EMC issues latest update
As of 10:30 Friday morning, Jackson EMC had a total of 5,800 customers without power as a result of the Hurricane Ivan-related storms that moved through the service area Thursday evening.
In Gwinnett County, Jackson EMC has only about 25 customers still without power and the company should have those customers' service restored by mid-afternoon.
In Gainesville/Lumpkin County, Jackson EMC has 1,800 customers without power and officials estimate that all service will not be restored until early Saturday morning.
"We have 2,000 customers without power scattered around Jackson/Barrow/Banks Counties, with 29 broken power poles to repair and estimate that all service will not be restored until early Saturday morning," stated Bonnie Jones, a spokesperson for Jackson EMC.
In Madison County, 2,000 customers are without power and Jackson EMC officials estimate that all service will not be restored until early Saturday morning.
Jackson EMC is being assisted by three crews from Colquitt EMC in Moultrie and by two South Georgia crews from Pike Electric Incorporated.
At the height of the storm last night, Jackson EMC had more than 18,500 customers whose power had been disrupted.


Bob Rankin and Kevin Rice began cleaning up fallen pine trees from the yard of Tommy and Jane Rankin on Hwy. 15 in Jefferson Friday morning. As rain was beginning to fall again, the two men were using a tractor to haul away the trees and large branches left behind after storms hit the area Thrusday night and continued into the early morning hours.

The house where the Jackson County Superior Court offices were recently located, narrowly escaped being hit by this tree. The house is located in downtown Jefferson, across from the old courthouse; the superior court offices recently moved to the new courthouse.

Tree hits new Habitat House

A pine tree hit the newest Jackson County Habitat for Humanity house during Thursday night’s storm, causing some damage to the roof and leaking inside. The Floyd family moved into their new home in early June.

New Habitat House hit by storm
The newest Jackson County Habitat for Humanity house took a hit from the stormy weather Thursday night as a pine tree fell on a part of the roof.
Pam Floyd, who moved into the home in the Thyatira community with her family on June 8, said Friday morning that a pine tree had fallen sideways on the house during one of the band of storms that hit Jackson County Thursday evening.
“It happened in the evening, before dark, and then the power went out after that,” Floyd said. “I didn’t think it had damaged the roof, but this morning I saw that it had, and there’s a leak in the boys’ room. If it had gone straight down, it would have fallen onto my bedroom and squashed the roof.”
Floyd said another tree had fallen behind the home during the storm and that several trees had fallen across the road — the Commerce-Jefferson Hwy. – as well.


A tornado picked up and tossed the Alberta Drive mobile home of Mary Ann Daniel Thursday afternoon. Three people inside the trailer were treated for injuries, none life-threatening.

Several injured but no one
killed in Thursday storm
At least one tornado, perhaps more, tore through Madison County Thursday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. leaving a path of destruction and widespread power outages to at least 3,000 homes and businesses.
A funnel cloud severely damaged homes in Kingston Greens subdivision and the nearby neighborhood of Alberta Drive, both on Colbert-Danielsville Road just outside Colbert, where one home was completely demolished and numerous others suffered significant damage.
The storm also tore down Hwy. 98 just west of Danielsville, causing damage to several public facilities including the recreation department, the library, the senior center and the historic Strickland House (former Chamber of Commerce office). The library building, according to early reports, appears to have sustained the most damage. Other homes and property in and around the community of Friendship Church further down Hwy. 98 toward Ila also reportedly sustained storm damage.
A tractor trailer traveling towards Ila on Hwy. 98 at Crawford W. Long Road was picked up, turned around and thrown over on its side by the funnel cloud, witnesses reported.
Emergency Medical Services director Dwayne Patton says EMS was called out to three injuries involving the demolished home on Alberta Drive.
"It was a miracle, but they had only minor injuries," he said. Other than that Patton says there were some weather-related wrecks, but no reported injuries and no other injury calls directly related to the storm(s). "We have had some public assist calls such as folks without power who were on home oxygen and things like that, but none involving injuries and no fatalities that we know of... We're very fortunate," he said.
And Patton said he and his staff watched in awe Thursday afternoon as the funnel cloud appeared to form across the road from EMS Station One (old Fine Finish building), also located on Hwy. 98.
"We watched it forming on the other side of the recreation department and head this way," he said.
"We probably should have hid somewhere, but we were fascinated."
Patton said after crossing the road, the tornado came through the Station One's parking lot, causing some minor damage before moving on.


Tin roofing is pictured wrapped around a telephone poll in front of the Madison County Recreation Department Friday after a Thursday tornado downed trees and knocked down fencing. Debris was strewn across the park.


The Kingston Greens neighborhood in Madison County was hit by a tornado Thursday afternoon. Several homes suffered serious damage, including the house of Therese and Michael Stonecipher. Therese (center, in green) was home during the tornado and hid in the bathtub as wind tore the roof off the garage. She said her ears were popping from the change in air pressure and that the noise of the tornado was "like a freight train."

Update 9/17, 2:30 p.m.
Storm hits counties hard
Some schools change football schedules for tonight
Hurricane Ivan hit areas of Jackson, Banks and Madison counties hard on Thursday, causing damage throughout the tri-county region.
Several tornadoes reportedly hit Madison County, causing damage to several public buildings. The library received severe damage, followed by moderate damage at the senior center and recreation department.
A number of houses in Madison County also reportedly received substantial damage, possibly from a tornado.
Hurricane Ivan caused several trees to fall in roadways in Jackson and Banks counties, and school officials in the tri-county region have changed some of their athletic schedules.
However, schools in the Jackson County, Jefferson and Commerce systems remained open for classes on Friday. Madison County and Banks County schools weren't open on Friday.
The varsity football game between Jackson County Comprehensive High School and Eastside High School has been postponed until Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., at Eastside. The school system is reporting that it will resume its regular schedule on Friday, Sept. 17, at 6:15 p.m.
Jefferson High School will still hold its varsity football game in Oglethrope County on Friday, at 7:30 p.m.
Commerce High School will play Lincoln County on Saturday, at 6 p.m. in Commerce.
Banks County High School will play Greater Atlanta Christian, in Norcross on Saturday, at 6 p.m.
Madison County High School will still hold its varsity football game in Conyers against Heritage tonight at 7:30.

 Update 9:30 Friday
JEMC reports thousands of power outages
At the height of the storm last night (Thursday), Jackson EMC had more than 18,500 customers out of service throughout its 10-county service area.
Late during the night, the EMC still had 14,500 customers out of service, including: 5,000 customers in Jackson, Banks and Barrow counties; 2,000 in Gwinnett County; 4,500 in the Hall/Lumpkin County area; and 3,000 in Madison County, where a tornado reportedly touched down between Comer and Colbert.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, Jackson EMC still had 5,100 customers out of service, including 1,000 in Jackson, Banks and Barrow counties and 2,000 in Madison County. The company also has 23 broken power poles around its service area.
Fresh crews reported to work at 7 a.m. Friday to relieve the employees who worked throughout the night to restore power.
"We will continue working until all customers are back in service," according to Bonnie Jones, public relations director.