The Fairbanks Company in Rome (Courtesy Karen Williams)
House leveled in Gordon County
Strong storms pulverized homes in Gordon County
ROME, Ga. -- The violent storms that tore through North Georgia Thursday night spawned at least three tornadoes.
The National Weather Service on Friday confirmed an EF 2 in the Rome area of Floyd County. An EF 1 tornado hit the Moreland area of Newnan County. An EF 3 pounded the Calhoun area of Gordon County.
Winds in Gordon County reached speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and damage spanned between a quarter of a mile and a half a mile wide.
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Gordon County declared a local state of emergency and enacted a curfew after winds whipped through Thursday night. One Calhoun home was ripped right off its foundation.
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"It's a Christmas miracle no one was killed," Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said. Authorities said the Gardner Springs, Plainview, Farmville, Sonoraville and Talking Rock communities were hit especially hard.
At least seven people were transported to local medical centers with non life-threatening injuries. More than a dozen were checked out for injuries.
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In Floyd County, decades old buildings were damaged and trees and power lines were downed on the west side of Rome. Specific damage was reported on John Davenport Drive and Burnett Ferry Road.
"Damage has been reported countywide" said Scotty Hancock of Floyd County EMA.
The entire metro Atlanta region was slammed by the storms, with damage reports coming in from Alpharetta down to Fayetteville.
Thousands of people were still without power Friday afternoon.
Most of Georgia Power's outages were centered in the Rome area, where about 3,100 customers were without power. Another 430 metro Atlanta customers were still in the dark, mainly in the Roswell area. Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright said in many of the cases, crews are having to wait on trees being cleared before they can get to work or they're replacing entire power poles, which takes extra time.
North Georgia EMC had about 100 customers still without power Friday afternoon.
"We have reached the point in restoration efforts when progress seems to be slow because the remaining outages are somewhat scattered and there is still good bit of damage," NGEMC's vice-president of engineering and operations Paul Ruud said in a statement. "We appreciate the patience of our customers who have been without power through the night and today. We know the holidays are a difficult time to be without power."
NGEMC Spokeswoman Laura Sparks said crews would work through the day until all power is restored.