February 13-14, 2000 – SW Georgia Tornadoes

Late February 13 into early February 14, 2000, 3 devastating tornadoes struck portions of Southwest Georgia.  Two were rated F3 and one was rated F2.  There was a total of 19 fatalities, many in mobile homes.  Approximately 200 injuries were reported.

Tornado Tracks Via NWS Tallahassee
Tornado Tracks Via NWS Tallahassee
Image by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC Visualization Analysis Lab, based on data from NOAA
Image by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC Visualization Analysis Lab, based on data from NOAA

Tornado #1:  Mitchell County including just south of the town of Camilla, GA

This tornado began at 11:42pm EST (Feb 13) and traveled 9.2 miles.  The max width was 300 yards.  There were 175 injuries reported and 11 fatalities from this tornado.  It was given a rating of F3.

NWS Summary:

A strong tornado tore through two major subdivisions and four mobile home parks just south of Camilla after touching down just east of Branchville. Damage assessments from the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency reported 200 homes destroyed and 250 homes were damaged. Two miles south of Camilla on GA Highway 112, a large trailer manufacturing plant was destroyed. Eleven fatalities were confirmed by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, all of which resided in mobile homes. Approximately 175 persons were injured. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army opened several shelters for the homeless. Hundreds of acres of pecan trees were uprooted, pine trees snapped, and power lines toppled. Numerous irrigation systems were damaged. Property damage estimates totalled $20 million with crop losses estimated at $2 million. Mitchell County was declared a federal disaster area. Reported by the Mitchell County EMA.

Radar and Damage Photo from the NWS Tallahassee

Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity at 0442 UTC (11:42pm EST)
Aerial view near Camilla, GA

Photos from FEMA

Vice President Al Gore visits victims of a tornado to bring a promise of hope. Photo by Liz Roll Photo by Liz Roll - Feb 15, 2000 - Location: Camilla, GA
Vice President Al Gore visits victims of a tornado to bring a promise of hope. Photo by Liz Roll Photo by Liz Roll - Feb 15, 2000 - Location: Camilla, GA
Victims of tornado. Photo by Liz Roll Photo by Liz Roll - Feb 15, 2000 - Location: Camilla, GA
Victims of tornado. Photo by Liz Roll Photo by Liz Roll - Feb 15, 2000 - Location: Camilla, GA

Tornado #2: Grady, Thomas & Mitchell Counties, GA

This tornado began at 12:49am EST (Feb 14) and traveled 15 miles.  The max width was 300 yards.  There were 15 injuries reported and 7 fatalities from this tornado.  It was given a rating of F3.

NWS Summary:

Grady County:

Fifteen homes were destroyed and numerous damaged. Fifteen persons were injured, mostly from flying debris. Six fatalities were confirmed by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency: four deaths in mobile homes and two in a woodframe home. Scores of pecan trees were uprooted, pine trees snapped and power lines toppled. Farmers suffered major losses to irrigation equipment, trailers and shelters. Eight chicken houses were flattened, killing a half million chickens. Grady County was declared a federal disaster area. Reported by the Grady County EMA.

Thomas County:

A strong tornado moved from the northeast corner of Grady County into extreme northwest Thomas County near Meigs. A few homes were damaged with numerous downed trees and power lines. Reported by the Thomas County EMA.

Mitchell County:

Numerous homes were damaged as well as downed trees and power lines. One man died from injuries sustained when the tornado destroyed his mobile home and neighboring woodframe home two miles north of Meigs. Reported by the Mitchell County EMA.

Note:  When you plot the latitude and longitude provided by SPC/NCDC, the path doesn't go into Mitchell County.  There was damage reported in the extreme SE corner of the county.

Radar and Damage Photo from the NWS Tallahassee

Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity at 0552 UTC (12:52am EST).
Truck rolled in Grady County, GA

Tornado #3: Colquitt and Tift Counties, GA

The same supercell that produced a tornado in Grady, Thomas and Mitchell Counties produced another one at 1:30am EST (Feb 14) in Colquitt County.  This tornado was given a rating of F2.  It was on the ground for 6 miles and had a max width of 200 yards.  There was 1 fatality reported.

NWS Summary:

Colquitt County:

A strong tornado tore through extreme northeast Colquitt County near Crosland toppling trees and power lines before it moved into extreme southwest Tift County. Several mobile homes were damaged. One woman was killed in a mobile home just northeast of Crosland when a large tree and another mobile home were blown against her home. Colquitt County was declared a federal disaster area. Reported by a amateur radio operator and the Colquitt County EMA.

Tift County:

A strong tornado crossed U.S. Highway 319 from extreme northeast Colquitt County into extreme southwest Tift County, just south of Omega. Twelve mobile homes and eight pre-fabricated homes were destroyed. Numerous frame homes were damaged, including some moved off their block foundations. Ten persons were injured. Numerous trees and power lines were down. Just northeast of Omega, a school bus was blown into a nearby home. Tift County was declared a federal disaster area. Reported by the Tift County EMA.

Radar from the NWS Tallahassee

Reflectivity and Storm Relative Velocity at 0639 UTC (1:39am EST).