Midstate residents remember EF4 tornado in Warner Robins 65 years ago

The 1953 Warner Robins tornado, taken from Warner Robins Air Force Base/Courtesy: Warner Robins Air Force Base

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Monday, April 30 marks 65 years since an EF4 tornado hit Warner Robins, resulting in 18 deaths and over 300 injuries as well as millions in damage to the Air Force base and the city.

Marsha Buzzell, the director of the Warner Robins Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said although she moved to Warner Robins after the disaster it was still on everybody's minds.

Buzzell said that the city was able to build back up so quickly because of help from the nearby Air Force base.

Buzzell said, "This event pulled this community together forever. It was a benchmark for the military coming together. They helped!"

Anne Middleton lived in south Bibb County at the time. Despite avoiding the EF4 tornado in Warner Robins, her neighborhood was still affected by a tornado outbreak in Bibb County.

Middleton was 19 and expecting a new baby any day when the outbreak happened. She remembers hearing tornado sirens and ambulances throughout the day.

"It was hectic. There was a lot of, I lived on 247, and there were a lot of ambulances and fire trucks going by," Middleton said.

While Middleton's home wasn't damaged, a nearby bridge was and the road to her house was closed in the aftermath of the tornado outbreak. She gave birth the day after the outbreak and almost wasn't let through to her house until workers saw she had a newborn baby.

"It's just something that I'd like to forget, but you know of course you can't forget it," she said.

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