The National Weather Service provided information about the path of a tornado that struck Downtown Atlanta Friday.
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service, Peachtree City, GA
8:45 p.m., Sat Mar 15, 2008
...Preliminary report for March 14th City of Atlanta tornado...
A damage survey team from the National Weather Service forecast office in Peachtree City has confirmed that an EF2 tornado tracked through the heart of the city of Atlanta between 9:38 and 9:50 p.m. on Friday, March 14th.
The tornado first touched down near the intersection of Simpson and Burbank Streets in the Vine City neighborhood at approximately 9:38 p.m. The tornado then tracked due east over the center of the Georgia World Congress Center /about 100 yards north of the Georgia Dome where an SEC basketball tournament was taking place/...across the CNN/Omni Hotel complex and Philips Arena /where an NBA basketball game was underway/...over the Equitable Bank Tower...across I-85/75 at the Edgewood exit...and then into the Cotton Mill Lofts across from Oakland Cemetery. From this point...the tornado weakened but caused spotty tree and roof damage into extreme western DeKalb County near the junction of Braeburn and Josephine Streets...where it lifted. The tornado had a total path length of six miles and a maximum path width of 200 yards at its maximum strength. Maximum wind speeds were estimated near 130 mph... which is a high end EF2 on the enhanced Fujita scale. As it moved across the GWCC/CNN/Omni complex...the tornado width was about 100 yards wide and produced high EF1 winds of about 100 mph.
At least 50 homes were damaged by the tornado... as were several multi-story towers and commercial buildings near and east of the Centennial Olympic Park. Windows were blown out of many of the towers... at all heights. Damage in residential and industrial areas ranged from roofing materials blown from homes and businesses to trees falling on structures and vehicles. The Cotton Mill Lofts experienced the most significant damage with the roof blown off and exterior walls of the top /fourth/ floor blown inward. Two sections of the fourth floor collapsed all the way into basement of the building... trapping several people in the complex.
No weather-related fatalities were reported with the tornado... but numerous non-life-threatening injuries occurred.
The NWS is grateful to the Atlanta Police Department for providing aerial survey support and to the Atlanta/Fulton County EMA for their assistance.
Map of the Tornado's Track
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Here's a map of damage reported across Georgia from this weekend's storms:
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