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Coffee Co. community begins to clean up after EF-2 tornado touched down Saturday

Updated: Apr. 25, 2021 at 6:51 PM EDT
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COFFEE COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - After Saturday’s severe weather rolled across South Georgia, some woke up Sunday morning to damage. In Coffee County, southwest of Chatham County, preliminary reports from the National Weather Service suggest an EF-2 tornado touched down Saturday night. Many residents are now cleaning up what’s left behind.

“And I just heard a bunch of glass breaking and things being thrown around,” said Rena Ritchie, who lost her home in Saturday’s severe weather.

It was a scary Saturday night for many in the Bay Meadows subdivision.

“My bedroom window just shattered, and that’s when I just heard the tornado somewhere, didn’t know exactly where it was,” said Ritchie.

The tornado even lifted her home off of its foundation.

“There was water coming in the house. It was still raining and really windy,” she said.

Less than 10 miles away Bear Creek Mobile Home Park was hit by the tornado.

“A vortex stuff spinning around. Lighting, there was lightning outside. I knew I was in a tornado so I rolled right sideways of the bed, crawled to my nearest bathroom and hit my knees and prayed,” says Mack Wooten, who also lost his home in the tornado.

Wooten says the tornado downed trees, which collapsed onto his mobile home.

“Ceiling in every room’s got a limb or a tree through it,” he said.

Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Director Chief Steve Carver says 111 residences were reported damaged as of Sunday morning. There were also no injuries or fatalities reported. However, the town of Douglas is seeing some flooding and power outages.

“Some of the areas will have power tonight, and then the others, hopefully tomorrow night,” said Chief Carver.

For some residents, like Wooten, there’s at least one thing to be grateful for.

“I’m alive,” Wooten said.

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