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One tornado confirmed; little damage
This is where it is believed that  the tornado went through Smith-Berry Road.
This is where it is believed that the tornado went through Smith-Berry Road. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
A couple hours of alarm Monday afternoon led to numerous reports of tornadoes being spotted, but only one confirmed in our area and, thankfully, no injuries and just minor damage.
“I saw the funnel just down the road and fortunately it wasn’t heading in my direction,” Long County Deputy Julius Bargeron said about patrolling Highway 261/Marcus Nobles Highway about 3 p.m., after the county had been placed under a tornado watch.
In Liberty County, Liberty-Hinesville Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Hodges said his office received several sighting reports, but could not confirm any.
“We’ve searched the areas of the reports, but could not find any evidence they were actually hit,” he said Tuesday morning.
He said there were no damage reports in Liberty.
Bargeron said he saw the funnel about a half mile away from him, heading in the direction of the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department, Station 4.
About the same time, Cathy Jackson said her Smith Barry Road residence in that area was showered with hail.
“I was in the living room knitting when all of a sudden out of no where my house was slammed with hail,” she said. “I went to look outside and it was thicker than any hail that I had ever seen.”
Jackson said the hail lightened, but continued to hit her mobile home for about 10 minutes.
“After it was over it looked like it had snowed, there was so much ice on the ground.”
Jackson said she did not see the funnel and she was glad she didn’t.
Hodges said National Weather Service representatives visited the area Tuesday and confirmed their equipment detected what looked like a tornado in Long County.
Monday’s storms were part of a system that swept across the Southeast, reportedly killing two people. The storms also dumped up to two inches of rain on the area Monday afternoon and night and were caused by a cold front moving through the area, clashing with warm air.
More storms were predicted early Tuesday for later that day, but NWS forecasters speculated that cloudy conditions kept the area cool enough to dissipate those expected storms.
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