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SPECIAL REPORT ~ F2 Tornado Hits Atlanta,GA ~ 9 Injuries Confirmed, Photograph of Tornado, GA Dome Damaged during game…

Posted by Admin on March 14, 2008


UPDATE (March 18, 2008 – 6:30 a.m. CST)
A visitor to our site, Nicholle who worked at the Cotton Mill buildings for several years informs me that the picture I have below is the “H” building and that although the roof was torn off that building, it is the “E” building on that property that has collapsed. Thank you Nicholle for correcting me, and providing everyone with the correct information. I appreciate it!

PREVIOUS UPDATE (Saturday, March 15, Evening):

NOTE: Unfortunately two known fatalities are being reported in Georgia as a result of this tornado earlier today in Georgia – According to a local Atlanta FReeper one of those killed was a Veterinarian that ran a kennel was killed, along with many of her dogs. 7 dogs survived the storm. Prayers for this woman’s family, friends, and neighbors. For more information about Saturday’s storms here at this blog – click here.


A photographer caught the tornado on film Friday night as the storm came through Atlanta.

Photographer Catches Atlanta Tornado
Reported by: Paul Ossmann
Web Editor: Josh Roseman

08315224121__mg_6751-250.jpgAs an EF-2 tornado swept across downtown Atlanta, one local photographer snapped the shot of a lifetime.

Shane Durrance was on top of his condominium off Howell Mill Road when he saw the potential for a great photo of the downtown area. He took the photo just as 11Alive’s Paul Ossmann was talking about tornado warnings in Atlanta.

See the Full-Size Image at Ch.11 News –

Read the whole story at Photographer Catches Atlanta Tornado

UPDATE on Closings in Atlanta today – Saturday March 15:

Imagine It-The Children’s Museum: Backyard Birthday Bash Cancelled
Adams Park Baseball Pitch, HIt & Run: Cancelled
Downtown Bash for Diabetes 5K Run: Cancelled
Loving Shephers Church Easter Festival: Postponed
Spring Home Show: Cancelled
St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Cancelled
Thomas P Hinman Dental Meeting: Cancelled
Underwater Easter Egg Hunt at Rosel Fan: Cancelled
Volleyball Clinic @ Central Park Recreation Center: Cancelled

UPDATE (5:09 a.m. CST):

More weather moving into Atlanta now — Sirens going off in Douglas County, this is only for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning according to Ch. 11 as the NWS has not issued a Tornado warning there.

Storm Rips Through Downtown Atlanta, Injuring at Least 20 and Halting SEC Tourney

Saturday, March 15, 2008
Associated Press

ATLANTA — 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 20 people were hurt.

Streets around the Georgia Dome, the Phillips Arena, the CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park were littered with broken glass, downed power lines, crumbled bricks, insulation and even the occasional office chair. Billboards collapsed onto parked cars. Stunned fans from the arenas and hotel guests wandered through the debris in disbelief.


Click here to see the photos available at

Local News in Atlanta: Ch. 11 —

Lots of raw video feed of the storm on this page:

Local Damage Pictures:

Assistant Atlanta Fire Chief — They are pretty confident that despite the collapse of the Stacks Lofts Building/The Cotton Mill there were no people stuck inside.



The St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. Also the Home & Garden Show that was supposed to go on tomorrow at the World Congress Center has been cancelled. The SEC Tournament will continue but in a different venue.

Authorities are asking that all people who do not absolutely need to be out and about in the city, to please stay away as it will hamper search and rescue as well as clean-up efforts at this point.

I have personally not heard of people not being able to get through to relatives by phone and such, as in past storms, so that is a good thing.

It has been reported that the “Old Mill” building has “pancake collapsed” – I have now found out that it is the “E” building that has collapsed. The building pictured below is the “H” building. This historic site was originally known as the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills. Building began on the complex in 1881 and is located in what is known as the Cabbagetown area of Atlanta. A drawing of the original site is below. You can read more about the history of this area in this article at Wikipedia. The pool is located to the top of the photo where the square “tower” is.

(The above picture is from Wikipedia. See details on picture here.)

stacks2.jpgThis part of the property pictured to the right (this particular building is not the one that collapsed – although the roof on this building was damaged). The site was previously identified on this blog as the “Old Mill Lofts”, apparently this is an old name for the site. This building had just finished another renovation and was currently called the The Stack Lofts. As you can see from the photo below (and at the Stack Lofts Website), the smokestacks were still up, and if one of them toppled it could certainly cause the building to collapse (We have since been alerted by a reader that these smokestacks did NOT collapse).

There was already extensive visible damage at least to one part of the building – and possibly two parts of the roof. The building had previously been evacuated and news crews had been moved back. No injuries had been reported as a result of the collapse itself. (Thanks to FReeper stlnative for the update and links to extra information.) — UPDATE – Mar. 18 — As stated previously, a reader of the site has given us some more information on this particular location. The building you see in the picture next to this paragraph is commonly known as building “H”. It did sustain damage to its roof. The building that was reported to have “pancake” collapse was building “E”. Thanks again to Nicholle for the update and corrected information!


Now, I’m personally a pretty Conservative Christian… And I just want to take a second to thank the Lord that more people were not injured in this storm. As was pointed out by the Ch. 11 Meteorologist (sorry don’t know his name… will look it up) blessings should be counted by everyone living, visiting, and with loved ones in the area. If the SCC Tournament game had not gone into overtime, there would have been literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of people on the street when this tornado hit. With everyone running for cover the devastation and toll of life could’ve been simply horrific. Praise the Lord indeed for his small mercies that many, many more were not injured tonight. Many are reporting a lot of close calls, and search efforts are just beginning in some of the more heavily damaged buildings as they may not be stable, but as of now there are no fatalities and only one person (out of a total of 9 taken to area hospitals) was in critical condition. (I will report the names of the victims for prayer purposes if it becomes available).

NOTE – CURRENT WEATHER: More rain and lightening is apparently headed towards Atlanta right now (Visible in the live coverage from Ch. 11) .

Severe Thunderstorm Watch up on the Northern Border – entire Northern 2/3 or so of Alabama. Most producing hail – tornado risk not that great. Golf ball size hail reported in Alabama.

Of course, the official determination will be up to the NWS.

I am not alone in this opinion. The majority of reporters, meteorologists, City Authorities, and LEOs I have heard are all of the opinion that this was definitely a tornado based on descriptions of witnesses and a cursory survey of the damage.

This storm is still not officially considered a tornado (as of 11:55 pm CST – it probably won’t be official till the National Weather Service announces it within the next 24-48 hours after they are able to investigate the damage first hand in the light), however there were numerous witnesses in the Healy(sp?) building that reported a loud train sound lasting about one and a half minutes, that report seeing swirling debris outside their windows.

One woman interviewed on the phone, and also live – Julia Murphy – on Ch. 11-ALIVE reported seeing large and heavy debris in a circular motion outside her 12th floor window, and she and her neighbors above her both report seeing circular debris “way above the height of our wind0ws”. She stated that her apartment window overlooks Centennial Park. She also stated that she gathered in the lobby of her building afterwards with other residents and many reported seeing the same thing. Windows in that building were blown out as well.

Reporters on Channel 11 (who I think has been giving the best coverage tonight – at least available online!), have stated that the damage they are seeing is consistent with tornados. They are seeing bricks pulled out of buildings, and pushed forward. In one instance there was a light pole or a telephone pole twisted in the electrical wires.

This is pretty consistent with what one would see at night during a tornado – swirling debris. Straight-line winds on the other hand wouldn’t create this type of debris pattern.

There is a greater chance of severe weather tomorrow than there was today.

UPDATE: (11:59 p.m. CST):
Widespread extensive damage across the city. APD handling traffic control. Road will perhaps be open by tomorrow. Station 4 of the Fire Department was also hit.

The storm that was headed in the direction of the city seems to have died down at this point.

2 holes ripped inside the roof of the Georgia Dome.

UPDATE ON FIREFIGHTER — Sprained ankle… Twisted on debris at the Old Cotton Mill Lofts.

Old Cotton Mill Lofts in Downtown Atlanta:
One corner of the building completely torn off, exposing a unit of the building.

Below is a picture of the Old Cotton Mill Lofts which was posted by FReeper bamahead on


There is flooding reported in the Georgia Dome as well as in World Congress Center. Below is a picture of the water flowing down the stairs within the Georgia Dome.

Flooding - World Congress Center/Georgia Dome
Thanks again to FReeper bamahead on

Mayor will make a statement soon.

UPDATE (11:26 p.m. CST):

Kirkwood, Edgewood, Cabbagetown, mentioning the Old 4th Ward, and East Metro all heavy sustained damage.
Multiple viewers reporting seeing the funnel.
9 confirmed injuries, 1 critical – no fatalities reported at this time — these are JUST those transported to Grady Hospital…

Airport – no damage, and no disruption of flights.

Another storm is headed towards Atlanta (still as of 11:06 p.m. CST). It has started in the same place as the first. Check the live link below for updated Severe Weather Alerts and Warnings.


Recent update from reporter on Ch. 11:
From Grady Hospital:
8 people to grady – 1 in Critical Condition

1 to Atlanta Medical Center

Several people injured outside the Georgia Pacific Building – reports of Lacerations from broken glass.

Cotton Mill Lofts – Firefighter injured, perhaps a resident as well.

Please remember there are still reports of more injuries coming in. No known fatalities at this point.

Parents with children attending the Jr. ROTC Ball at the World Congress Center are asked to come pick up their children at this time. They will keep them inside till parents claim them due to the damage outside. The *new* part of the World Congress Center is apparently flooded. They are showing live pictures on Ch. 11 of a waterfall that has developed going down one of the escalators in the building. The reporters are not sure exactly where all the water is coming from at this point…


Georgia Power – 19,000 people without power in the Atlanta Metro Area. A lot near NOK/Ashby street area.

All students and parents are UNINJURED at Georgia State.

There was a Hawks (NBA) game being played at the Phillips Arena tonight.


A severe storm has hit downtown Atlanta, GA. (9:00 p.m. CST). Officials are reporting that buildings are down and there is a LOT of damage.

The Georgia Dome was damaged. The SCC Tournament was holding a game there when the storm hit. The last game scheduled there tonight (the game scheduled to be played after the one that was going on when the storm hit) will not be played tonight and people are now leaving the Georgia Dome.

Witnesses near the Omni Hotel/CNN Center stated that cars were picked up, and it sounded like an explosion. The Atlanta Fire Department Chief has told reporters that 7-10 people transported to the hospital, dozens injured (serious to critical condition, cannot confirm any fatalities at this point. Reported that there is also damage to the Omni Hotel/CNN Center, and many other buildings…

Captain Interviewed on Ch. 11 ~ News – while I was in the middle of writing this post:

Here are notes scribbled “live” from the coverage you can watch the live coverage yourself at the following link:

We still have crews on scene throughout the city report of strucural damage – Injuries – do not know the extent. 7-10 Good esitmate just from CNN Center. Numerous transports from other areas. Reports of trees fallen on houses, and a building has collapsed across Centenniel Park – empty building. Structural damage – broken windows, roofs that have been removed.


12-15 reports of damaged residences and apartment buildings.

The Meteorologist on Ch. 11 noted that these building have survived Hurricanes and this caused more damage. He states that this had to take something unique.



Prayers for everyone involved, as well as all family who are not in the area,
that may be worried about their loved ones.




5 Responses to “SPECIAL REPORT ~ F2 Tornado Hits Atlanta,GA ~ 9 Injuries Confirmed, Photograph of Tornado, GA Dome Damaged during game…”

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