The heavy rain and strong winds that swept through Tift County Wednesday night were long gone by Thursday morning as residents woke up to a sunny, yet very chilly, day.
Vickie Hickman, deputy director of Tift County’s Emergency Management Agency, kept The Gazette staff abreast of what was occurring in the Tifton area Wednesday night.
Although, there were reports of bad weather in Southwest Georgia, no storms were expected for the local area. Just before 4 p.m., there was a report of a tornado that touched down between Sasser and Dawson in Terrell County.
Shortly after 6 p.m., Hickman reported that Tift County was under a tornado watch but not a warning. Minutes later, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the northern part of Tift County, based solely on what was being seen on the radar. However, no sightings were reported.
Before the warning, Hickman told staff that strong winds were expected between 6 and 9 p.m. from the front coming through and then it was expected to ease up with the weather being noticeably cooler. She had noted that they were watching the storm closely.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., Hickman contacted staff and stated that the weather that came through the county resulted in four houses damaged and widespread reports of power lines and trees being down.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported at that time. The temperature was also much cooler dropping almost 20 degrees after the weather swept through the county.
The Gazette contacted Hickman Thursday morning for a weather update. She said EMA and the road department were out in the area until midnight. Also, during daylight, they rode around Thursday morning checking for any damages. Power crews were out late Wednesday night as well.
“All power was restored last [Wednesday] night,” Hickman said. “We just have some cleaning up to do.”
She reiterated from Wednesday night that there were widespread reports of power lines and trees being down. She said there were reports of trees being down mainly in the areas of Cromer Road, Red Oak Road and also Kelltown. Trees had fallen on top of some houses, causing roof damage. However, no catastrophic damages were reported, Hickman said. Also, no injuries were reported.
To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.