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Tornado Aftermath in Bartow

Jan 30, 2013 -- 5:46pm

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

A series of powerful thunderstorms generated multiple tornadoes on Wednesday, leading to devastation across Northwest Georgia. Hit the hardest was Adairsville, where one person was killed and a number of businesses were destroyed or damaged.

The heart of the mayhem was located in the Highway 140 corridor near I-75 at Exit 306 in Adairsville. Bartow County Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Craig Millsap confirmed the death of one individual from the twister and says a second round of search and rescue efforts for survivors are underway;

"At this time there has only been the one fatality that we have discovered.  We have completed all of our preliminary searches of the area and are now going back to do our secondary searches.  There have been no other major injuries or fatalities that's been noted, everything else has been minor injuries.  I do believe there were nine people that ended up being transported by EMS, none of those were life-threatening injuries, some of which were basically medical needs that were due to the storm and the power outages." 

Millsap says access to the most ravaged parts of Bartow County is restricted until further notice;

"The area is being cordoned off by law enforcement.  Only those residents with picture ID showing they belong there will be allowed in...and responders.  The areas that we are still actively working in, even the residents will be restricted from to start with, until we can get those areas opened up better.  No one beyond those will be allowed the foreseeable future." 

Both confirmed and unconfirmed tornado reports came through on Wednesday, as emergency officials spotted funnel clouds in Bartow, Floyd, Gordon and Polk counties between 11 am and 1 pm. All occurred within the same storm system.

Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton announced Wednesday evening that the man killed during the storm was Anthony Raines, age 51.  Raines, who was disabled, died as the result of blunt-force-trauma to the head and chest after a tree crashed into his mobile home.  Raines had been watching TV inside his bedroom.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  Raines’ nephew was also inside the home but escaped unharmed.        

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