Thursday morning at around 9:45 a.m., I was asked to drive up to Adairsville, Georgia to interview victims of the EF3 tornado that hit the town on Wednesday. Twenty-four hours after it left the town a mess, I was pulling off at the Adairsville I-75 exit.
This wasn’t the first time I’d gone to the scene of a tornado for my job, but it was probably the worst damage I’ve seen from a twister, in person. So I want to share the images with you because the damage is vast and driving through it can be demoralizing.
You should know that the people I spoke with were very upbeat and thankful to be alive. Even the ones standing on top of the rubble that used to be their home. It was rather inspiring, even though the setting looked bleak. Check out the photos below, and you’ll see what I mean (and feel free to check out my story from the trip).
For best viewing, click on the first photo and scroll through with your arrow keys.
The Weather Channel’s Julie Martin was reporting live from Adairsville this morning.
This was just one of the numerous roofs ripped off buildings and thrown down elsewhere. This one traveled a few hundred feet.
This pole was broken in half, which shows the strength of the tornado.
This sign was completely shredded by the EF3 tornado, packing winds as high as 160 mph.
More than 100 cars in the city were destroyed during the storm.
This house, originally a gas station but transformed 30 years ago, was completely flattened.
Along one road that suffered a direct hit, this kind of image was the norm.
This convenience store had very little left, but it was interesting how some snacks and other items were still on the shelves, untouched by the violence of the tornado.
The picture says it all — a completely devastating situation.
Shredded wood, wires and insulation engulf this totaled car.
A truck was knocked over by the tornado.
Down the road from the residential damage, the Daiki manufacturing plant was hammered by some of the strongest tornado winds.
Flagpoles were mangled at the Daiki plant.
Cars from the Daiki plant’s parking lot were thrown into the air and deposited on a nearby hill, but they were destroyed in the process.
This car was thrown over the hill and nearly landed on a four-lane road.
In the parking lot, the tornado threw this car into a light pole, and I have no idea how this kind of thing can even be possible.
I interviewed the employee who owned this truck. The parking lot where it was thrown from is about a tenth of a mile away.
This truck was thrown from the Daiki plant’s parking lot, over the hill and power lines, and was dropped here.
This trio of cars sat in the parking lot of a bank that suffered minor damage. They must have been on the far eastern end of the tornado, because they weren’t so lucky.
Another look at the Daiki plant.
I couldn’t figure out how this was possible, but somehow, this cushion found an opening in the pole and was pierced by it during the violent winds.
This was a common sight at the Daiki plant — metal wrapped around trees. It’s an incredible sight to see in person.
Those huge walls were pulled down in a manner that suggested this was a high-end EF3 tornado.
I found this photo in the field at the Daiki plant. It was likely sucked out of a home and dropped in the field as the tornado passed. The back of the photo says it’s from 1977…hopefully I can reunite it with its owner!
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