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Tornado threats to run into evening
Initial wave of bad weather sweeps Hinesville area
radar at 4
A National Weather Service radar image shows the line of storms moving across the area at about 3:45. - photo by NOAA graphic
To see the radar loop, click here.
A line of thunderstorms that spawned at least one tornado moved through Liberty County late Monday afternoon. The only damage reported by evening was minor.
The Long County Sheriff's Department says it has received reports of a funnel being spotted north of Ludowici.
At 3:40, the National Weather Service issued the tornado warning for west Liberty County and northeast Long County. Initial reports were that warning would remain in effect until at least 4:30.
Heavy rain started in downtown Hinesville at about 4:15. It tapered off, at least temporarily just before 5, as that band of weather moved to the northeast.
Reports of other watches and warnings continued in other areas and more storms were expected to move into the area over night. Just after 5, the NWS issued a warning for McIntosh County, into east Liberty and the Midway area.
Reports from on Fort Stewart say warning sirens sounded around 4 p.m. and child care centers were calling parents to see if they wanted to pick up their children.
The warning means a funnel has been spotted and people in the area are encouraged to take cover immediately in a sturdy building. Mobile homes and vehicles are not safe.
Long County Sheriff Department clerk Beth Reddish said the reports came in shortly before 4 p.m. that a funnel was spotted in the Donald community up Highway 301 in the area of Ebenezer Church and Smith-Barry Road.
The only damage reported, so far, is downed power lines.
Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin reported that there were rumors of tornado damage in the Gum Branch area, but that the reports had not been confirmed.
His said he and his deputies are on alert.
The initial warning for the immediate area was issued at 3:40, the NWS's doppler radar indicated a line of thunderstorm capable of producing tornadoes along a line from six miles northwest of Gum Branch to 11 miles southwest of Gum Branch, or along a line 13 miles northwest of Hinesville to 10 miles northwest of Ludowici, moving east at 35 mph.
The storms were caused as a cold front moved into the area and were traveling in a wide band of wind and rain.
To report bad weather in your area to the service's Charleston office, call 1-888-383-2024.
Mike Hodges, director of the Liberty County EMA office, said his staff are also monitoring the weather. To call him, dial 369-2201.


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