DENTON, Ga. (WSAV) – Severe weather moved through portions of the Coastal Empire Thursday, with a tornado bringing damage to Jeff Davis County.
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Friday confirmed the tornado’s rating as a weak EF1 with estimated peak winds of 100 mph.
According to the NWS, the tornado developed along a line of broken thunderstorms. It touched down near Denton at 4:32 p.m. and traveled northeast for about 11 miles until it dissipated over Alma Highway around 4:55 p.m.
Officials said the tornado was 300 yards wide and uprooted large trees, caused roof damage to a handful of homes and downed power lines.
“I’ve always heard [a tornado] sounded like a freight train. And that’s exactly what it sounded like was a freight train going by,” said Jimmy Scott with Wire Grass Cattle Company.
While his equipment is OK, Scott said his cattle working facilities were almost completely destroyed by the tornado.
“Didn’t actually see the funnel cloud, but we saw the vegetation swirling, and it’s almost like the funnel cloud was coming down at that point,” he recalled. “That’s when we went in and got into the house up under the stairs and tried to get away from it.”
“Thirty seconds later, it was over,” Scott added. “We come outside and this is what we saw.”
He said he’s lucky breeding season is over, but he’ll need to get started on repairs.
“Probably in about two more months, we’ll start back to breeding cows again,” Scott explained.
He said it was his first time experiencing a tornado — but that wasn’t the only news that made for a memorable afternoon.
“At the exact same time that the tornado was coming through, our daughter-in-law was in Douglas having a baby,” Scott said. “And they sent us a picture of the baby being born exactly when the tornado come through.”
Charles Wasdin, the director of Jeff Davis County Emergency Management Agency, confirmed there were no injuries reported due to the tornado. He said the county dodged a bullet Thursday.
“We’re very blessed that nobody got hurt,” Wasdin said.