Tornado outbreak strikes Alabama, Georgia


Blaring tornado sirens and howling winds roared across parts of western Georgia early Friday as severe storms pounded southern states, including in Alabama where at least five people died in twisters that wrecked homes, splintered trees and crumpled businesses.

Meteorologists said a large, dangerous tornado swept through metro Atlanta’s Coweta County around midnight Friday, sparking a tornado emergency for the city of Newnan and surrounding communities. There were several reports downed trees and power lines.

Newnan police asked residents to “get off the roads” in a Facebook post, explaining that emergency officials were surveying the area.

Newnan Utilities said the storm knocked out its phone and internet services. Hours later, general manager Dennis McEntire said the phone lines returned. He urged residents to follow the utility on social media for any updates.

“It’s still dark so it’s hard to assess all of the damage but we believe we have 30 broken poles,” McEntire said. “We serve about 10,000 customers and about half are without electricity right now.”

McEntire said the damage from the storm was severe and it will “take several days, with the help from outside crews, to put the system together again.”

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