A possible tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta on Friday night, smashing skyscraper windows, sucking furniture and luggage out of hotel rooms, crumbling part of an apartment building and rattling the rafters of two major sports arenas filled with basketball fans. At least 13 people were hurt.
Streets around the Georgia Dome, the Phillips Arena, the CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park were littered with broken glass, crumbled bricks, insulation and even the occasional office chair. Billboards collapsed onto parked cars. Stunned fans from the arenas wandered through the debris in disbelief.
National Weather Service officials said a possible tornado hit downtown Atlanta, and wind was clocked at up to 60 mph as the storm moved through the city.
Most of the damage was concentrated in downtown Atlanta, Police spokesman Ronald Campbell said. He said authorities blocked off roads around the CNN Center, where heavy debris filled the streets. A chair from the skyscraper's lobby sat in the middle of the street, flanked by cars crushed by fallen debris.
Karone Edge, 23, was working out with two friends in a weight room at the Westin Hotel when he saw debris fly by the window. After watching the glass shatter in front of him, he said everyone began to run, and he fell, scraping his leg.
The Philips Arena sign was damaged after a severe storm ripped through downtown Atlanta on Friday night, injuring several people and damaging skyscrapers, hotels and two major sports arenas that were filled with thousands of pro and college basketball fans.
A man carries his girlfriend on his back as they walk through the debris outside the CNN Center in Atlanta after a severe storm blew through the area, injuring several people and damaged skyscrapers, hotels and two major sports arenas that were filled with thousands of pro and college basketball fans.
People walk through the debris outside the CNN Center in Atlanta after a wind storm blew through the area, injuring several people and damaging the Georgia Dome and other surrounding buildings.
A high seating area of the Georgia Dome shows damage that was caused by high winds near the end of the Alabama Mississippi State basketball game in Atlanta. A severe windstorm has ripped through downtown Atlanta, downing trees, breaking windows and tearing holes in the roof of the Georgia Dome while the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament was in progress. Numerous windows were broken at CNN Center during the Friday night storm, and there was also damage at nearby Philips Arena.
Water pours down the steps at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Weather officials say a storm packing winds up to 60 miles per hour has struck downtown Atlanta, damaging high-rises, hotels and two packed sports arenas.
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De eerst hoor je letterlijk de tornado over de Georgia Dome.
De schade die is veroorzaakt door die tornado
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A tornado struck the heart of downtown Atlanta on Friday night, injuring several people and damaging numerous buildings, including the roof of the Georgia Dome as thousands watched a college basketball game, the city's mayor and witnesses said.
Nine people were taken to hospitals, one in serious condition, as a result of the heavy storm, police said.
Police evacuated the multi-story Omni Hotel, which shares a building with the CNN Center, after high winds smashed many windows and scattered debris including furniture into the street below.
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Klik hier voor filmpjes van CNN | Gewijzigd: 15 maart 2008, 09:00 uur, door Marga
A man can be seen through broken windows as he talks on a radio at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. A severe windstorm ripped through downtown Atlanta Friday night, downing trees, breaking windows and tearing holes in the roof of the Georgia Dome while the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament was in progress.
Debris can be seen through broken windows at the Omni Hotel.
Barricades are overturned in front of the Georgia World Congress Center, next to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Friday, March 14, 2008.
Power poles lean in a precarious position across Auburn Avenue of downtown early Saturday morning after a possible tornado touched down
Bron: Fox News
A tornado left two people dead Saturday in northwest Georgia, less than 24 hours after another tornado struck downtown Atlanta, cutting a 6-mile path of destruction through the city with winds gusting up to 130 miles per hour. At least two people are dead and another person is critically injured from a tornado in the Rockmart area, Amber Frady of Polk County EMS told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta residents had about eight minutes warning before the twister hit Friday night, said Lans Rothfusz, meteorologist-in-charge with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. Rothfusz said the tornado warning was issued at about 9:30 p.m., and severe thunderstorm warnings had been in effect for the area earlier in the evening. The tornado, classified as an EF2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, lasted about 20 minutes and left broken glass, furniture, tree branches, power lines and other debris strewn onto the streets "This was clearly a tornado," Rothfusz said.
Many residents were surprised by the storm, as were basketball fans at the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament at the Georgia Dome and the NBA matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena, since the warning was not displayed at either game. Calls to the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena were not immediately returned.
Law enforcement officials said that after an initial search, they have found no fatalities from Saturday's storms. At least 27 people were hurt Friday night, though no injuries were believed to be life-threatening.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin declared a state of emergency in the city Saturday and curious onlookers fanned out across the city taking pictures and surveying the damage in their neighborhoods. Franklin urged people to stay indoors unless performing essential tasks like checking on family or property.
"Do not use this as an opportunity for sightseeing," Franklin said. "It is not as if something happened last night and everything is over. Our challenge is getting people to understand that this is a serious emergency response effort." Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine estimated damage from Friday night's storm at $150 million to $200 million. He said at least $100 million of the damage was at the Georgia World Congress Center, a state convention facility near the CNN Center and the Georgia Dome. He said the storm broke through the roof, sucking walls, glass and furnishings out like a vacuum. "Had the building been occupied by a significant number of people, you would probably have had major injuries and loss of life," he said.
More thunderstorms headed across northern Alabama toward north Georgia Saturday. The National Weather Service posted a tornado watch for a large area of Georgia, including the Atlanta area, plus portions of South Carolina and Alabama, and a warning was issued for parts of northwestern and north central Georgia.
Mizar Turdiu of Mountain Lakes, N.J., walks back to the convention center in Atlanta after checking some damaged windows at the Omni Hotel left by a tornado which struck the hotel and surrounding area Friday night.
"We're bracing for another round of whatever mother nature throws at us," said Lisa Janak of the state emergency management agency. All downtown events scheduled for Saturday were canceled, including the St. Patrick's Day parade. Trisha Palmer with the National Weather Service said there had been only a "light risk" in the area Friday for thunderstorms capable of producing strong tornadoes and very large hail. In contrast, the risk was rated as moderate Saturday north Georgia and upstate South Carolina. The storm smashed hundreds of skyscraper windows, blew furniture and luggage out of hotel rooms, crumbled part of an apartment building and rattled a packed sports arena. Streets around the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena, the CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park were littered with broken glass, downed power lines, crumbled bricks, insulation and the occasional office chair. Billboards collapsed onto parked cars. CNN said its headquarters building suffered ceiling damage that allowed water to pour into the atrium, and windows were shattered in the CNN.com newsroom and the company's library. A water line inside the building broke, turning a staircase into a waterfall. "It was crazy. There was a lot of windows breaking and stuff falling," said Terrence Evans, a valet who was about to park a car at the Omni Hotel when the storm twister hit.
March 15: Ben Rhoades, left, takes photos of the damage to the Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts in Atlanta.
Although a tornado warning was issued, there was no announcement of the approaching storm for the 18,000 fans inside the Georgia Dome for the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament. The first sign was rumbling and the rippling of the fabric roof. Catwalks swayed and insulation rained down on players during overtime of the Mississippi State-Alabama game, sending fans fleeing toward the exits and the teams to their locker rooms. "I thought it was a tornado or a terrorist attack," said Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough, whose team won 69-67 after an hourlong delay under a roof with at least two visible tears. A later game between Georgia and Kentucky was postponed. SEC officials said the tournament's remaining games would be played at Georgia Tech. "Ironically, the guy behind me got a phone call saying there was a tornado warning," fan Lisa Lynn said. "And in two seconds, we heard the noise and things started to shake. It was creepy." A spokesman for the Omni Hotel said guests and staff were quickly moved to the exhibit hall and ballroom and that the only injuries were "some cuts and scrapes and no major issues as far as we know." Representatives from the Omni Hotel were on-site on Saturday morning to assess the damage to the buildings, which were full due to the SEC tournament. Although all 1,000 rooms were full, many guests were out at sporting events at nearby neighboring venues when the storm hit. Power was knocked out to about 19,000 customers, and about 10,000 remained without power on Saturday, said John Self, a spokesman with Georgia Power. Self said that by nightfall, a workforce of 500 would be on hand to help restore power to the city. More than 40 poles were down around the city, he said.
The Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts, located east of downtown, had severe damage to one corner and appeared to have major roof damage. Atlanta Fire Department spokesman Capt. Bill May said on Saturday that authorities had searched through the night to ensure that no one was trapped in the building, and were slowed by the darkness and unsafe environment. "We have not found anybody that had been trapped, and we feel pretty confident that will remain the case once we complete our secondary search, based on the majority of the units being vacant," May said.
William Lynn of Covington, Ga. talks on his cell phone while looking at the damage to his car from a tornado which struck the Atlanta area late Friday night.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said the last tornado to hit a major city's downtown was on Aug. 12, 2004, in Jacksonville, Fla. Downtown tornadoes have also struck Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City; Little Rock, Ark.; and Nashville, Tenn., in the past decade. If confirmed, the tornado would be the first on record in downtown Atlanta, said Smith, the meteorologist. The last tornado to strike inside the city was in 1975, and it hit the governor's mansion north of downtown, he said.
Bron: Fox News
The Governor of the US state of Georgia has declared a state of emergency after a violent tornado tore through downtown Atlanta, killing two people. The storm ripped roofs off apartment buildings, blew windows out of high-rises and sent people fleeing from their seats in the middle of a basketball tournament as debris fell from the ceiling.
Sports journalist Jim Mashek said while he was watching the game, a washer fell from the ceiling to about 30 centimetres from his hand.There was a huge crowd on hand, and when the tornado arrived, a rumbling, trembling noise dominated the Georgia Dome. The roof was shaking, he said.
Electricity was cut from tens of thousands of homes, and new storms in the state's north-west sector are causing more damage. CNN showed images of homes crushed by huge trees, huge concrete flame pillars toppled in the city's Centennial Olympic Park, and office towers - including CNN's own headquarters - with scores of windows blown out.
The Atlanta fire department said 30 people were sent to hospitals for treatment. Search and rescue teams continued to comb damaged buildings in downtown Atlanta for possibly injured people, but said they had not found anyone caught in the wreckage.
Meanwhile, the US National Weather Service has warned of more severe weather for the region including Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
City worries about whether convention center can re-open soon
Tornado damage around Atlanta includes this corner of Luckie Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive where a billboard fell onto cars.
ATLANTA - Many streets were closed and some traffic lights were still out Monday morning because of a tornado that ripped a path of destruction through the city's core. Commuters to downtown were encouraged to stay home. Broken glass still littered the ground and police warned pedestrians to watch for debris that could fall from buildings. At least 27 people were hurt in the tornado that swept through Friday night.
Two people were killed in northwest Georgia when a separate storm moved through Saturday. One man was killed by flying debris. A woman was killed after the storm demolished her home and threw her and her husband into a field. Her husband survived. In Atlanta, cleaning up the shattered glass, torn roofs and debris-littered streets of downtown will be a much quicker task than repairing the financial damage caused by the tornado, state officials said Sunday. Several landmarks, including the Georgia World Congress Center, the Westin Peachtree Plaza and the Equitable Building, were in the six-mile path of the storm, which moved along the Atlanta skyline for about 20 minutes. The city's main convention center and two major hotels were hobbled as the convention season began. This weekend alone, the city lost the Atlanta Home Show, a dental convention and the much of the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament. Dan Graveline, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center, said on a walking tour with reporters and Gov. Sonny Perdue that it was still too early to quantify the damage, but added that crews were working to assess the wreckage. Graveline said he was hopeful repairs would begin soon, starting with the areas that could be fixed most quickly.
George Teig takes a picture Saturday March 15, 2008, of four cars under a giant sign which toppled onto them while parked in a downtown parking lot after a tornado touched down Friday evening in Atlanta.
The tornado ripped through the roof of an exhibition hall in one building, leaving light fixtures, awnings, and pieces of the building's infrastructure dangling and exposed as workers continued to clear the scattered insulation, metal, glass and other debris littering the facility. Hotel officials said they were concerned about getting the Georgia World Congress Center back into shape as a conference venue. "All the major hotels downtown rely on the Congress Center as part of the package of bringing conventions to the city," said Ed Walls, general manager of the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, which was damaged by the tornado. Walls estimated that about 30 percent of the hotel's business came from events related to the facility, and that the first four months are among the busiest of the year for conventions in Atlanta.
Workers move debris ripped from Philips Arena out of the street after a tornado struck the venue Friday evening leaving its mark on downtown and nearby neighborhoods, pSaturday March 15, 2008.
Mike Sullivan, marketing director of The Omni Hotel at CNN Center, said hotel and convention center officials were expected to meet Monday to discuss their post-tornado options. If the Georgia World Congress Center is unable to host trade shows and meetings, the city's biggest hotels may have to host large conferences that normally would have been held at the convention center. "Hotels really are working hard together to try to keep people here," Sullivan said.
Bron: MSNBC | Gewijzigd: 1 februari 2017, 16:43 uur, door Joyce.s