UPDATE: NWS confirms tornado hit Crawford Co. during Hurricane Michael
UPDATE -- THURSDAY 8 P.M.
CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ga. - The National Weather Service has provided more information to WGXA News on the tornado that hit Crawford County during Hurricane Michael.
We now know the tornado had maximum winds of 110 mph, was on the ground for 5 miles and was 250 yards wide.
The tornado developed in one of Hurricane Michael's feeder bands Wednesday afternoon just after 4 p.m. It first touched down along Carroll Road southwest of Roberta where it snapped a few small trees and branches. The tornado then moved west where it got stronger in the Flint River Estates Road area. Numerous trees were snapped or uprooted, including many hardwood trees from 10 to 20 feet off the ground. Several homes along the road were damaged by falling trees. A detached workshop to one of the homes was destroyed.
The tornado continued westward, snapping trees as it moved across State Route 128. That's where it damaged another home due to falling trees. The tornado continued west, crossing Hortman Road, where a few small trees and large branches were downed. The tornado lifted as it approached Walker Chapel Road.
In addition to the Crawford County damage, the National Weather Service also found some damage just south of Fort Valley that lined up with a small area of rotation on the radar. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are going to research that data more on Friday to see if that was also caused by a brief or weak tornado. That information is expected to be released Friday.
UPDATE -- THURSDAY 3 P.M.
CRAWFORD CO. -- National Weather Service confirms a tornado hit on Flint River Estates Rd. in Crawford County Wednesday night.
Crews are still surveying the damage Thursday afternoon.
Keith Stellman, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service out of Atlanta, says based on the damage to the trees alone, speeds were at least 100 mph and it was at least an EF-1 tornado. However, they will conduct what they call “forensic meteorology” to determine the level.
Crews say the tornado came from the east.
Officials say around 1,500 people in Crawford County are still without power.
CRAWFORD CO. -- It's a messy scene on Flint River Estates Rd. in Roberta Thursday morning, as a possible tornado from Hurricane Michael ripped through at least five homes in the area Wednesday night into Thursday.
See all the damage here:
The National Weather Service is coming to Crawford County Thursday afternoon to confirm if it was in fact a tornado that hit the homes.
Homeowner Wayne Granade says it sounded like "two freight trains" hitting his home. Luckily, no injuries were reported.
CRAWFORD CO. -- A tornado-warned storm moved through Crawford County around 4 p.m. Wednesday, causing damage.
WGXA has confirmed damage at Flint River Estates Rd. near the Taylor Co. line.
Crawford EMA Director Rick Sharon says five homes are damaged, while trees and power lines are down.
Nobody was injured.
Crawford County, including the city of Roberta, sustained damaging winds Wednesday afternoon as Michael continued inland.
Winds uprooted trees and crews were dispatched to Roberta to start checking out the damage.
Sheriff Lewis Walker told WGXA that no injuries had been reported as of 5:30 p.m., but added that the area wasn't safe to drive through as downed power lines scattered the area.
Deputies were going home to home on Flint River Estates Rd. to make sure the community was safe.
One resident who stayed home said her power went out as the storm brought limbs down onto her vehicles and yard.
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City plans to conduct a final survey of the damage tomorrow, once Michael has moved out of the area.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.