An EF-2 tornado that blew across Troup County Monday night damaged a path of about five and a half miles, said the National Weather Service on Tuesday.
The tornado's 120 mph winds snapped massive trees and power lines, mostly along Highway 27 North in LaGrange. But, somehow, the twister damaged few actual structures.
The two biggest patches of damage were about a mile apart on Highway 27. The tornado snapped dozens of trees like twigs and power lines like rubber bands around the three buildings that house the Georgia Forestry Commission, as well as a house on the wooded property next door. But the damaging winds left the four structures mostly unscathed.
Down the highway along the road, splintered wood walls and twisted metal roof remains were strewn across the red clay dirt and grass. It was a five-car garage that the property owner, Robert Rowe, used to store hundreds of family belongings passed down to him from his parents.
And yet, everything the unit covered, like old bicycles, tricycles and furniture, were all in the same spot as they were before the tornado.
"They're things with sentimental value, things that I've treasured," Rowe said. "Momma, daddy's stuff from Atlanta,"
Rowe and his wife huddled at home, about 300 yards from the storage unit, just moments before the tornado barreled through.
"And I'm telling her, 'Get out the window and come in the closet," where I was with the big pillows and the comforter," he explained. "She says, 'I hear a freight train.' I said, 'Baby, that's a tornado.' She came in and we sat there five minutes. It was over. Couldn't hear a sound. You couldn't hear a cricket."
Much of the stored items spared, though important to Rowe, he said they aren't what's really important.
"I don't care about things that's replaceable. It (tornado) didn't get me. It didn't get my wife. I'm happy. No problem," Rowe said. "It's not devastating to me. It's just something that happened and I'll adjust."
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