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Bartow and Gordon Counties stunned, working to recover from deadly tornado | News

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Bartow and Gordon Counties stunned, working to recover from deadly tornado

BARTOW and GORDON COUNTIES, Ga. -- Lights were out in Adairsville Thursday night after the deadly tornado rolled through the area -- lights were out except for those beaming from emergency personnel's generator-powered lights.

Earlier Wednesday evening, authorities in Bartow County identified the one death from Wednesday's tornado. Anthony Raines, 51, was killed by blunt force trauma to the head and chest.

Raines was killed during the height of the storm in Adairsville. 

VIDEO | Adairsville post-storm press conference

The violent tornado left eyes wide open during the day on Wednesday, but it decided to put on a show if its own, tap dancing all over businesses and homes.

Many of Adairsville's 4,000 residents were unfortunately given front row seats to the devastation.

"It was my first time being right in the middle of one of them," a resident said. "It's scary when the walls start moving and you can see everything expanding, you know it's time to hit the floor, hit the floor!"

City leaders called it the worst they've ever seen. They described it as heart-wrenching.

When night hit, thoughts of rebuilding started to haunt those who survived the deadly twister, along with fears of what some would wake up to Thursday morning.

Earlier during Wednesday afternoon, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in Bartow and Gordon counties. The National Weather Service said tornadoes struck in Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Paulding and Gilmer counties.

The Bartow County Sheriff's Department issued a mandatory curfew for all storm stricken areas from dusk until dawn on Wednesday evening. 

PHOTOS | Wednesday's severe weather
MORE | Gov. Deal's State of Emergency declaration

Severe thunderstorms and at least one tornado crossed parts of northwest Georgia Wednesday, leaving one death and widespread damage in their wake.

Officials say "no one except emergency personnel is allowed to be out between dusk and dawn in the affected region." 

In addition to Raines' death, in Adairsville, one person was hurt when a tornado hit the Daiki Corporation plant on Adairsville Highway. One hundred workers escaped injury.

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RELATED | Interactive radar
MORE | Hour by hour forecast

In downtown Adairsville, officials reported major damage, including overturned vehicles and structural damage to buildings as the storm crossed the area at around 11 a.m.

Vehicles were reported to be overturned near the McDonald's in downtown Adairsville. Interstate 75 was reported closed at Exit 306, Cassville-White Road, heading toward Adairsville.

In Farmville, many homes have reports of severe damage, but Gordon County EMA's Richard Cooper says no fatalities have been reported there.

Cooper said a total of eight people were hurt in Gordon County, two critically. He said there are about 250 to 300 homes damaged, and about a third of those were destroyed. The storm's path in Gordon County is about 16 miles long and a half-mile wide.

An emergency shelter has been set up at the Manning Mill Road gym which is located at 163 Manning Mill Road off Highway 41.

For information on the shelter, call 770-387-5151 or 770-387-5089.


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