Storm Events Database
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Storm Events Database
|-- Length||4.92 Miles|
|-- Width||200 Yards|
|Report Source||NWS Storm Survey|
|NCEI Data Source||CSV|
|Begin Date||2008-03-14 20:38:00.0 EST-5|
|Begin Location||2WSW ATLANTA|
|End Date||2008-03-14 20:48:00.0 EST-5|
|End Location||4SE ATLANTA|
|Deaths Direct/Indirect||1/0 (fatality details below, when available...)|
|Episode Narrative||A series of vigorous upper-level disturbances were racing through a fast zonal flow across the southern states. A supercell thunderstorm developed across north central Alabama and tracked southeast into northwest Georgia and eventually across downtown Atlanta, spawning an EF2 tornado that tracked right through the heart of downtown Atlanta. This was the first recorded incident of a tornado touchdown in downtown Atlanta. The tornado wreaked havoc on the downtown streets as it tracked from the Vine City neighborhood on the west, across the I-75/85 corridor, through the Cotton Mill Lofts, and into extreme western DeKalb county before weakening. One death was reported and dozens were injured as they were trapped in downtown buildings amidst debris. Damage was in the millions.|
|Event Narrative||A ground and aerial survey conducted by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City, Georgia in cooperation with the Atlanta Police Department, confirmed that an EF2 tornado tracked through the heart of the city of Atlanta causing millions of dollars of damage to buildings, including several high rise business and/or hotel buildings, within the downtown Atlanta area. The tornado also resulted in one death and 30 non-life threatening injuries. The death occurred on Decatur Street across from the Martin Luther King MARTA station.
The tornado first touched down near the intersection of Simpson and Burbank Streets in the Vine City neighborhood just west of downtown Atlanta. The tornado then tracked near due east over the center of the Georgia World Congress Center, about 100 yards north of the Georgia Dome, which was concurrently hosting an SEC basketball conference, across the CNN Omni Hotel Complex and the Phillips Arena, where an NBA basketball game was underway, across the Equitable Bank tower, across the Interstate 75/85 Downtown Connector at the Edgewood Exit, and then into the Cotton Mill Lofts across the Oakland Cemetery located near the Fulton/DeKalb county line. The tornado then weakened, but continued into extreme western DeKalb county before finally lifting for good.
The tornado had a total path length of six miles, five of which fell within Fulton county, and a maximum path width of 200 yards. Maximum wind speeds were estimated at 130 mph, which is a high end EF2. The tornado had a path width of 100 yards as it moved across the Georgia World Congress Center and CNN Omni Hotel complex and was ranked an EF1 at that point.
At least 50 homes were damaged by the tornado, as were several multi-story towers and commercial buildings near and east of Centennial Olympic Park. Windows were blown out of several of these high rise tower buildings at multiple heights. Damage in residential and industrial areas ranged from roofing materials blown from homes and businesses to trees falling on structures and vehicles. The Cotton Mill Lofts experienced some of the most significant damage with the roof blown off and exterior walls on the top or fourth floors blown inward. Two sections of the fourth flour collapsed all the way into the basement of the building, trapping several people. Most of the injuries observed were associated with this damage.
Damaged buildings and structures in the downtown Atlanta area included two Hermes 65-foot tall light towers at Centennial Olympic Park, the CNN Center/Omni Hotel, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Equitable Bank Building, Georgia-Pacific Building, Georgia World Congress Center, Grady Hospital, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Martin Luther King Center, Oakland Cemetery, SunTrust Building, Tabernacle, Ted's Montana Grill, Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, and Walton Building Barbershop.
In addition to the damage reports, a wind gust of 83 mph was measured at Atlanta Fire Station No. 13 at 447 Flat Shoals Road Southeast in Atlanta, and a wind gust of 65 mph was measured at Atlanta Fire Station No. 4 at 309 Edgewood Drive in Atlanta.
Event Fatality Details:
|Death (Direct)||Not Available||Male||Outside/Open Areas|
Event Map:Note: The tornado track is approximate based on the beginning (B) and ending (E) locations. The actual tornado path may differ from a straight line.
All events for this episode:
|LAKE CREEK||POLK CO.||GA||03/14/2008||19:10||EST-5||Thunderstorm Wind||50 kts. EG||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|KENNESAW||COBB CO.||GA||03/14/2008||20:00||EST-5||Hail||1.00 in.||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|VISTA GROVE||DE KALB CO.||GA||03/14/2008||20:48||EST-5||Tornado||EF1||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|DRAKETOWN||HARALSON CO.||GA||03/14/2008||20:49||EST-5||Hail||0.75 in.||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|OXFORD||NEWTON CO.||GA||03/14/2008||21:36||EST-5||Hail||0.75 in.||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|EAST PT||FULTON CO.||GA||03/14/2008||21:54||EST-5||Hail||0.88 in.||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|ATLANTA HARTSFIELD I||CLAYTON CO.||GA||03/14/2008||22:03||EST-5||Hail||1.75 in.||0||0||1.000M||0.00K|