Dalton Gets Hit By Weather Damage

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DALTON, Ga. (WDEF)- A line of strong thunderstorms gave the tri-state area some anxious moments this morning.

Emergency response agencies were taking no chances–and kept north Georgia on alert for possible tornadoes until Noon.

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Heavy rain preceded the numerous tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings, as the front moved through the area.

Whitfield and Murray counties began reporting damage early on from high winds, and at least one suspected tornado.

“All we heard was a loud roar, and then the tree comes crashing down. We looked at it later and found out that it wasn’t one tree but two trees,” said James Burk.

The 2500 Block of Cleveland Highway in Dalton received the brunt of the storm around 10 a.m. .with numerous trees downed.

Hail fell over a wide are for a time, and power was out for a short period as trees and limbs hit electrical lines.

The director of Emergency management says the damage could have come from several sources.

“it could very possibly have been a, you know an EF-zero tornado, could have been a micro-burst, could have been a down-spout..you know, we just don’t know,” said Claude Craig.

Craig says these storms are dangerous, regardless.

“That’s one of the things we want to really, you know, to put out…that a severe thunder storm can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than a tornado. Just because the wind is not twirling in a circle, doesn’t mean we’re not in a dangerous situation,” stated Craig.

Falling trees like what happened to Mr. Burk’s home were the main concern during the storm. The recent drought made the situation worse.

“‘Cause trees..they are dangerous. They , ain’t no telling, they can be green ..green as anything and just fall right over on your house,” said Tim Nolan.

As the storm moved on, Bradley county, and several other communities set up an emergency shelters —but quickly closed them when no serious weather developed.

The national weather service will have to determine whether it was a tornado or straight winds that caused most of the damage. That may take a few days.