SPC Stats

Path length: 30.82 miles

Width:  1056 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  22

Rating:  EF3

County:  Pike, Lamar, Monroe, Butts

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  31.5313 / -96.5381    End:  31.5184 / -96.5341

Corrected Coordinates Based on Analysis of Aerial and Satellite Imagery:

Start:  32.968328 / -84.398731    End: 33.236004 / -83.733452 

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Acknowledgments

An enormous thank you to Becky Watts, Danny Bishop, John Stallings, James Young, Walter Geiger of the Barnesville Herald Gazette, Will Davis with the Monroe County Reporter, and Gracepointe Student Ministries, who provided photos for this summary. Thank you to Truman Boyle for access to his video of the aftermath. We could NOT have given the detailed descriptions of the damage and tell the remarkable personal stories without them. NO images provided by these contributors are to be redistributed in any way without the explicit permission of the owners.

A sincere thanks as well to Danny Bishop and Becky Watts for their in-depth and heartfelt interviews.

A huge thanks to the Warning Coordination Officer at the NWS Norman Rick Smith. He provided valuable consultation for this summary.

A special thanks to Patti Gunter. She provided crucial details on the damage to her family’s property. We appreciate her openness and willingness to answer our questions. Our hearts go out to her family and everyone affected by this tornado.

Summary

This monster tornado was the final EF3+ of the 2011 Super Outbreak and one of the most extreme twisters in Georgia history. But, beyond the extraordinary damage, this is also a story about the remarkable people and communities who faced and surmounted a terrible disaster.

Upson and Pike Counties

A multi-vortex tornado formed 3.8 miles NW of Hannahs Mill in Upson County at 12:33 am EDT, uprooting trees on a hillside. Almost immediately after development, it moved over the intersection of Weems and Atwater Roads and swelled to nearly a half-mile across. Suction vortices caused significant damage to several residences. This included a vacant mobile home that was completely demolished. According to the Thomaston Times, “Pieces of tin hanging on stripped trees and debris on the ground is all that is left.” Other occupied residences were also hit, including that of Barbara Jones.

Destruction along Weems Road. Image from Danny Bishop.

“One day you get your house all pretty and clean and the next day, I don’t know what.” Barbara Jones made that comment to the Thomaston Times in an article on May 3, 2011. She and her husband Carey were in their Weems Road home when the tornado struck. “We were laying in bed watching the news and heard a boom.” Barbara said. “We realized it was a tornado. I rolled off one side of the bed and my husband rolled off the other and we hit the floor. It was over in about five seconds and the damage was done.”

The home was extensively damaged. The roof was removed above the kitchen, and windows were blown out of several rooms. “A solid wood door between the living room and dining room was blown off its hinges and flung against the front door, breaking it in two.” The master bedroom they were in was spared any damage.

Outside, the 10-foot tall “cyclone fence” pen for their dog, Boone, was thrown 50 feet. It was found “smashed and tangled up against the back of the house.” Boone was found unharmed 45 minutes after the tornado. Damage occurred to their vehicles, a riding lawn mower, and a motorized scooter.

Barbara noted in the article that she called 911 three times and no one ever came to the house. Carl McKinney, the Upson County 911 Director, said, “his department was swamped with calls, receiving 286 calls between 8:00 pm Wednesday night and 8:00 am Thursday morning.” He reported that there were problems with the phone lines, and 911 could not call out.

Neighbors Vicki and Mark Shannon sustained much less damage to their home, but it was still a scary experience. Vicki told the Thomaston Times that she was in the kitchen with the dogs when the tornado arrived. “She said the lights went out, she hit the floor, and her dogs mobbed her.” Mark was upstairs and noted how he felt pressure in his ears and ran downstairs. They peered outside after the tornado moved away and saw two uprooted trees. The top branches of one of the trees scraped the house but caused no damage. “Ironically, a bird feeder in the backyard remained standing next to the fallen tree.” A broken 2×4 was found sticking out of the roof of the home. Vicki speculated that it came from a vacant mobile home across the street. That was the only damage to the house.

A 2X4 speared into the Shannon home. Image from Danny Bishop.

The Shannon’s had a yard full of debris. “We have stuff from all over and we don’t know where it came from,” Vicki said. “We had two trees in our yard fall, and the tops taken out of some other trees, but we have five fallen trees that aren’t ours. There was lots of metal that we think came from the trailer up the road that was destroyed, but the people that collect tin to take to the recyclers came by yesterday and picked it up. We had a cow stroll by yesterday, nibbling on the grass. We don’t know where it came from.”

The large size of the twister lasted just a few seconds, and the damage path shrunk to an average of 350 yards (0.20 miles) across. The tornado gained over 450 feet in elevation, crossing a ridge and descending the other side.

A home that was extensively damaged along Weems Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
More destruction on Weems Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
A canoe that was tossed on Weems Road. Image from Danny Bishop.

Danny Bishop worked at Fun 101.1 in Thomaston, GA, the night of the tornado. He had been watching this weather system for a couple of days and knew that severe weather and the risk of tornadoes were possible for his area. After observing the devastation across Mississippi and Alabama, he decided to go to the radio station to be ready to jump on the air if tornado warnings were issued. He was joined by his wife, Julie. Usually, no one was there that late at night as the station used an automation system. Danny brought a couple of laptops with him and used radar from a local TV station to track the storms.

It didn’t take long for tornado warnings to come out for this area and Danny jumped on the air live to inform the public. It was in the middle of reporting on one of the warnings that the station was knocked off the air. Danny explained in our interview with him, “When it came through that Weems Road area, it went right up the side of the radio tower and cut the power lines. So, we lost power and had no way to get back on the air.”

Danny and Julie decided to jump in the truck to see if there was some way to restore power to the station. To do that, they had to make their way to the radio tower on Hagans Mountain, approximately nine miles to their north. Danny described that the weather was still very intense as they made their way to the tower. He said it was raining sideways, and the wind was blowing limbs everywhere.

The husband and wife team could not make their way to the tower. They came back south through the Weems Road area. Danny recalled the next thing he saw was “really unique.” He said that when they turned off Kings Road and onto Smyrna Church Road, they looked, and a seagull was walking up the street. Danny explains, “It was so disoriented. I stopped and it walked right up to the door of the truck and looked up at me like the seagull was asking for help or directions or to find out where it was. I had never seen a seagull in Upson County, and I was born and raised there.” It is unknown where the seagull came from on this stormy night.

Danny said he tried to get a hold of Upson County 911 to report trees down on Highway 74 but could not get through to them. The severe weather had cut a fiber optic cable that was connecting all of the 911 service. He finally got a hold of Pike County 911 and reported the damage. Danny waited until daylight and then went out to document the path of the tornado. We use many of the details and imagery from Danny in this summary and are very grateful for his help.

About 1.6 miles NNE of Atwater Road, the twister churned onto the intersection of Day Road and Gayle Lane, pulling off half of the roofing from a house. It continued across Hickory Ridge Road, snapping and uprooting a large number of trees. The tornado then sped into extreme southeastern Pike County 4.3 miles SSW of Meansville.

A home that lost part of its roof on Day Road. Image from Danny Bishop.

The 280-yard wide vortex hit its only structure in Pike County at Old Highway 19, where a pole barn was demolished, and trees were snapped. The tornado remained largely unchanged in size and intensity for the next several miles, with the only known impacts being trees toppled onto Bankston Road.

A pole barn that was demolished in Pike County. Image from Danny Bishop.
Snapped trees along Old Highway 19. Image from Danny Bishop.

Lamar/Pike County Line to Old Milner Road

As it passed into southwestern Lamar County, the twister began to expand dramatically. Several residences had roofing torn off at the intersection of Allen and Turner Bridge Roads, sheds were flattened, and an abundance of trees were uprooted. Further up Turner Bridge Road, a silo was untopped, more trees toppled, and a couple of homes had damaged roofs. The tornado then moved into forested areas. A 150-yard wide swath of completely snapped and at times minorly debarked forest snaked its way northeastward, ever-increasing in intensity.

Roofing damage near the intersection of Allen and Turner Bridge Roads. Image from Becky Watts.
At bottom left, a view of the increasingly severe core of treefall in southwestern Lamar County. More locations are marked along the track up to Old Milner Road. Image created using Google Earth imagery taken May 6, 2011.

About 3.8 miles west of Barnesville, four chicken house buildings owned by Jim and Carol Adams were smashed. Per Danny Bishop, they lost approximately 100,000 chickens. Their historic home along Piedmont Road, which had been there prior to the Civil War, was damaged when a tree fell on top of it.

A view of the historic home damaged by a fallen tree. Image from Danny Bishop.
A tree that was uprooted near the historic house. Image from Danny Bishop.
Multiple chicken houses that were destroyed. Image from Danny Bishop.

Now exceeding 1,470 yards (0.84 miles) in width, the tornado barreled into three residences near the intersection of Turner Bridge and Piedmont Roads. A mobile home was shoved onto Piedmont Road and fell apart. Two frame houses were stripped of their roof and exterior walls.

Mobile home remains on Piedmont Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
A home that was destroyed on Piedmont Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
An aerial view of that same home. Image from Truman Boyle.

Frank Foster lived with his wife Sallie and their little dog in the Piedmont Road area. Sallie was helping to care for an elderly friend and wasn’t home when the tornado tore through their community. Per Danny Bishop with Fun 101.1 FM, Frank was sound asleep but awoke to loud noises above his head. It was debris hitting the roof. “A second later the roof was no longer there. His bedroom was located in the right front corner of the house, it’s the only part that remained standing.”

Frank picked up his dog, opened a window, and stepped outside on the front porch. He told Danny in an interview that there was so much damage that he couldn’t even tell that he was in his own yard. He called his wife, who was on the other side of Barnesville, to make sure she was okay. “She answered the phone and thought Frank was just kidding when he said the house was gone.”

Frank Foster pointing at the bedroom where he survived. Image from Danny Bishop.
A view from another angle of what was left of Frank’s home. Image from Danny Bishop.

Further along Piedmont Road, a cluster of farm buildings suffered irreparable damage. Across a field and in the vicinity of the intersection of State Route 18 and Cannafax Road, roughly two dozen houses were affected by tornadic winds. The damage ranged from lost shingles to complete destruction.

A view of a cluster of farm buildings hit by the tornado on Piedmont Road. Image from Truman Boyle.
A ground-level view of hay still stacked in a destroyed barn on Piedmont Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
An aerial of a destroyed residence along State Route 18. Image from Truman Boyle.
Extensive tree damage near this location. Image from Danny Bishop.
Damage along Cannafax Road. Image from Danny Bishop.
Another residence destroyed along State Route 18. Image from Truman Boyle.

Around 1242 am EDT, Victoria Mattox, a teacher, was sound asleep in her home off County Road 18 when she received a text message from a friend, “You need to take cover immediately, the sirens are going off in town.” Per an interview with the Associated Press, Victoria said she grabbed her phone, ran to a closet, and within three seconds, her home was plowed into by the tornado. She heard the popping sound of the windows being blown out in her bedroom and heard the ceiling being ripped off. “I saw the tornado take the rest of my house.” The closet she was in was the only part of the residence still standing. A large tree was lying on top of it. Victoria emerged from the wreckage uninjured. “God reached down and touched me, and he said I’m not done yet. I don’t know how else to say it.”

A before and after GIF of Victoria Mattox’s home. Before image from Google Street view taken in April of 2008, and after image from Becky Watts.

Another perspective of Victoria Mattox’s house after the tornado. Image from Danny Bishop.
An aerial view of the remains of Victoria Mattox’s home. Image from Truman Boyle.

Grove Street

The twister crossed Old Milner Road and became tremendously powerful. Forest was razed to the ground, and trunks were mashed together in a convergent pattern. A small core of suction vortices tore much of the bark from trees and left cycloidal markings in the grass. The 1,540-yard wide tornado made contact with a number of properties along Grove Street at 12:50 am CDT, approximately 1.8 miles NW of Barnesville.

A view of the tornado’s path at maximum intensity. Image created using Google Earth imagery taken May 6, 2011.
Extreme tree debarking during the dramatic intensification of the twister. Image from Truman Boyle.
More tree debarking close to Grove Street. Image from Truman Boyle.
A diagram showing various people and locations referenced in the summary along Grove Street.

Becky Watts, owner and editor of The Pike County Times covered the tornado extensively for the paper. We were honored to talk with her and get her perspective on this event. Her sister and brother-in-law lived on Grove Street. Their house was not located in the core of the tornadic winds, but they did receive damage. Part of the ceiling fell in, and they sustained roof damage. Several trees were downed along the property. Two sheds were blown into the woods.

A shed that was destroyed at Becky’s sister’s home. Image from Becky Watts.
Minor damage to Becky’s sister’s home. Image from Becky Watts.

Per an article in the April 29, 2011 edition of The Macon Telegraph, Karen Gaton owned one of the few homes on Grove Street with a mailbox still standing. The carport disappeared, but the home received less damage. The article reported “a tree limb lodged in her living room.” Across the street from the Gaton residence, a brick home had its exterior walls collapsed, and the roof was gone.

Just minutes before the tornado hit the Strom family home, 8-year-old McKenna woke up to use the bathroom. She saw a spider crawling in the tub, and it scared her. The little girl ran to wake up her parents. When her mom, Nealy, woke up, she could hear the tornado sirens, and the family ran into an interior hallway. The dad, Dennis, told the Macon Telegraph, “When it would lightning, you could see objects fly by you, but when it wouldn’t lightning, it was just dark. You could hear everything breaking, you could hear stuff crackling.” The Strom residence was set back in the woods about 1/10 of a mile off Grove Street. It avoided the very worst of the tornado, but the roof was gone, and pieces of walls were flayed from the structure. The family survived.

A view of the damage to the Strom house. Image from Truman Boyle.
A ground-level view of the Strom home. Image from Danny Gunter.

Just to the northeast of the Strom residence, adjacent to Grove Street, a family sheltered in a bathroom as the tornado hit. They laid flat in the tub, and the home was ripped away around them. The sizable frame house was shredded away until only a tattered bathroom was left. Truby and Cheri Colbert also survived in their destroyed Grove Street home. Cheri told The Macon Telegraph, “I don’t remember too much other than being tackled to the floor in the back and him [Truby] saying, ‘We just lost the house.”

The bathroom where a family survived. Image from John Stallings.
A wider view of what remained of the home. Image from John Stallings.
Tree damage adjacent to the property. Image from Becky Watts.
An aerial view of where a family survived. Image from Truman Boyle.

Patti Gunter and her husband Marty lived in a home they built off Grove Street. Marty’s parents, Paul and Ellen, resided next door in a mobile home with an attached addition. They had adopted a little girl, Chloe when she was just 1-year-old back in 2003. At the time of the tornado, she was a joyful 2nd-grader, the light of Paul and Ellen’s life. Marty’s grandfather (Paw Paw) also lived at this home. Danny Gunter (Marty’s uncle) owned several acres of land, which joined the other properties. The following is an overview of the Gunter family’s powerful story. We have had the honor to communicate with Patti, who has helped us with many of the details we are about to share. She also documented her family’s story in a book entitled “God Is Good All The Time…Even In The Storm.” Learn more about it and how to purchase it here.

Patti and Marty had been watching their favorite show, “American Idol,” during the evening of April 27, 2011. They were aware of the severe weather happening across the south and in Georgia. The local meteorologist on Fox 5 in Atlanta, Ken Cook, gave frequent updates during the night. The couple discussed where they would go for safety. “We decided that the safest place would be underneath our house and in the far corner, which would be under our kitchen.” They settled into bed around 11 pm EDT. Around 12:45 am Marty, woke up to go to the bathroom. Patti stated in her book that her husband was complaining about how hot and stuffy it was in their upstairs bedroom, and that woke her up. The power had gone out. The Gunter’s had a porch attached to their bedroom that overlooked their backyard. “Marty went to open the door to get some fresh air, the door flew open almost hitting him in the face!” He noticed in the yard a pecan tree, “about 2 feet in diameter swaying so hard that the top was almost touching the ground.”

Marty grabbed Patti’s hand, and they ran downstairs. Their goal was to get to the safe place they had designated, but that didn’t happen. Patti describes in her book being able to hear the top of the house being ripped off while they were running down the stairs. They heard debris pounding the home. They made it to the first floor and became separated. The couple was both in the kitchen but on opposite sides of the room. Patti recalled, “the pressure was so strong I felt that my feet were nailed to the floor.”

Patti crouched down on the floor and covered her head. The next thing she remembers is sitting on the ground in the foundation of the house. “There was no floor. Just dirt.” Marty saw the floor of the kitchen being lifted upward. “He remembers beginning to slide uncontrollably across the floor with his feet out in front of him. He said he was yelling “stop” before slamming into something and landing on the ground which should have been the under side of our house.” In the blink of an eye, the couple’s home, the one they had built, was ripped out from under them. They had both miraculously survived.

Patti our house is gone! The shop is gone! Mom and Dad’s house is gone! And the barn is gone! Are we still on our property?

Marty Gunter
Patti’s house before the tornado in 2010. Image from Patti Gunter.
Patti’s house after the storm. Image from Patti Gunter.

Out of the nine vehicles, among the three families, there was only one that was not demolished. It was Marty’s F350 truck. It was still storming, and the couple ran to the truck for shelter. Along the way, they heard the voice of little Chloe. She had survived! “We found her in the yard terrified and alone! Her face was bloody, and she was covered in dirt and debris.” Marty picked up Chloe, and they all walked barefoot through the littered yard to the truck. Patti and Chloe stayed in the vehicle while Marty searched for his parents, Paw Paw, Uncle Danny, and Danny’s grandson Gabe, who had been staying with him. He returned to the truck and told Patti he thought they were the only ones who had survived.

The F350 truck. Image from Patti Gunter.

The threesome got out of the truck and managed to make it to a neighbor’s home. Many on Grove Street had gathered there as part of the house was still partially standing. Around 3 am, Patti was able to get through to her parents, who lived a few miles to their north. They hopped in the car and made their way to their daughter finding alternate routes around downed trees and power lines. An ambulance finally arrived, and Patti insisted that no matter what, they were not to be separated from Chloe. Patti wrote in her book that before entering the ambulance, “I looked around, and said another prayer for our family members, we felt we were leaving behind but knew we had exhausted every effort to find them. We had to trust that the rescue workers would do everything in their power to help.”

The partially standing home that the Gunter’s sought refuge in. Image from Danny Bishop.

At the hospital, it was discovered that Patti had two compression fractures in her back, a break in her left middle finger, a broken bone in her right foot, and her front left tooth was missing. “I had a gash so deep in my left wrist that it wasn’t even bleeding!” Marty had a broken left ankle, deep lacerations on his legs, and a cut on the back of his head. Chloe had a bad elbow sprain and two lacerations on her face. “We believe these cuts happened as she was thrown face first out of her bedroom window during the tornado.”

Chloe gave her account of what she could remember in the book. She was only 8-years-old and could not recall all the details. “Someone said I told the worker’s that my mom came to my room and when she reached for my hand she was sucked out of the house and I was blown out the other window.” She remembered calling out for Marty and then “falling face first over a board while I was trying to get to him and got dirt in my mouth.”

While being treated at the hospital, the family found out that Uncle Danny and Gabe had survived! They were actually at the same hospital. Danny had recently had neck surgery and was in a brace. Gabe found him “going in and out of consciousness.” He protected him the best he could and ran for help. Soon after, they found out Paw Paw was at another hospital with extensive injuries but would recover. After receiving uplifting reports of survival, tragic news was delivered to Marty. The coroner came to his hospital room and told him that his parents, Paul, 73, and Ellen, 63, were killed.

The very large manufactured home of Paul and Ellen Gunter before the storm. Image from Patti Gunter.
The manufactured residence after the tornado. Paul and Ellen lost their lives here, but little Chloe survived. Image from Patti Gunter
One woman’s shoe and one man’s shoe near where two bodies were recovered. Image from Danny Bishop.

Patti, Marty, and Chloe were released from the hospital the next morning. A local church had brought the family clean clothes to wear home. They went to Patti’s parent’s house, and it was there that Marty told Chloe that her parents had been killed. From the book, God is Good All The Time… “Paul and Ellen were always honest with Chloe about the fact she was adopted. They did not want to lie to her, and later have to tell her the truth. They let her know that she was a gift from God to them. Knowing the truth about her adoption, she right away asked, ‘what will happen to me’? Marty reassured her that she had nothing to worry about, she would live with us and we would love and take care of her!”

A day after coming home from the hospital, the family went back to where tragedy struck. They had planned to rebuild on top of the land they had constructed their other home. When they saw the devastation for the first time, Marty exclaimed, “I can’t do it, I can not have a constant reminder of all that has happened here.” So they would start over but not at Grove Street.

A before and after GIF of the destruction on Grove Street. Google Earth before imagery taken late in 2010, and after imagery was taken May 6, 2011.

Patti described in detail the destruction left in the tornado’s wake. The only building standing was a little shed where they kept the yard tools. The only thing left of their house was the foundation blocks. She noted in the book that her nephew found an unbroken egg in the midst of the debris. “Our two cars were just outside the wall of the house where I had come to a stop during the tornado. One car was found upside down about 50 feet away and the other one was upside down in the woods about 100 feet away.” A section examining the damage to the Gunter properties with more photos of the destruction can be found near the end of this summary.

A little shed was the only thing left standing on the Gunter properties. Image from Patti Gunter.
What was left of Marty’s shop. Image from Patti Gunter.
A car that was tossed on the Gunter properties. Image from Danny Bishop.
Devastation on the Gunter properties. At right is the remains of Paul and Ellen Gunter’s manufactured residence, which was strapped and anchored to the ground. Image from Danny Bishop.
A closer view of the remains of Paul and Ellen Gunter’s place. Image from Patti Gunter.
More debris from Paul and Ellen Gunter’s residence that was tossed into a treeline. Pieces of the metal frame are visible at right. Image from Danny Bishop.
A sign on the Gunter properties that read “Gunter LN.” Image from Danny Bishop.

State Route 7 to Lamar/Monroe County Line

The tornado crossed State Route 7 about 1.5 miles NE of Barnesville, moving at 55 mph. Several exterior walls and much of the roof of Rehoboth Church collapsed, destroying the structure. Across the street, a house, barn, and Hot Shot/Chevron gas station were left in tatters. Gas pumps were pulled from under the canopy. One was tossed roughly 50 yards and left an impact mark in the paved parking lot.

Rehoboth Church after the tornado. Image from Truman Boyle.
Another view of the damage to Rehoboth Church. Image from Truman Boyle.
An aerial view showing damage at and around the Chevron/Hot Shot. Image from Truman Boyle.
A destroyed barn and sheet metal strewn among stunted trees. Image from Truman Boyle.
Destruction east of State Route 7. Image from Danny Bishop.
The Chevron canopy left in tatters. Image from Danny Bishop.
A gas pump that was uprooted and hurled roughly 50 yards, leaving an impact mark in the pavement parking lot.

Danny Bishop relayed a story to us about a woman who had pulled up to one of the gas pumps, saw the storm coming, and just froze. “She was paralyzed with fear.” A gentleman at the Hot Shot could see the tornado in the midst of lightning flashes. He ran outside, helped the lady out of her car, and they sheltered with everyone else in the building in the cooler. As soon as they entered the cooler, “the store started coming apart around them.” Everyone at the Hot Shot survived.

The interior of the Hot Shot after the tornado. Image from Danny Bishop.
Cars smashed in front of the Hot Shot. Image from Danny Bishop.

Eight residences were lost and others damaged off of Barnesville Jackson Road. This included a very large two story home that lost most second floor walls and a few on the bottom level. Yet another eight homes were shattered on Crawford and Brook Roads.

Two homes that were destroyed off of Barnesville Jackson Road. Image from Truman Boyle.
Looking southeast along the damage swath from northwest of Barnesville. Image created using Google Earth imagery taken May 6, 2011.

The last 3.5 miles in Lamar County were spent mostly in forested areas. Vast swaths of woods were mowed down or debarked. Some homes may have sustained roof damage on English Road, but no further details on that could be found.

Monroe County

Soon after passing into northwestern Monroe County, the twister crossed I-75, snapping most trees along more than a half-mile of the highway. Three 18-wheeler tractor-trailers were blown off of the interstate. The first structures destroyed in the county, however, were 2.8 miles NE along Weldon Road. Multiple large houses sustained severe roof damage. Another home was left with just part of a corner standing on a slab.

An aerial view of the swath of tree damage across I-75. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.
May 2011 Google Street view imagery of blowdown on I-75.
May 2011 Google Street view imagery of blowdown on I-75.
May 2011 Google Street view imagery of blowdown on I-75.
Tree damage in the area. Image from James Young.
More tree damage in that area. Image from James Young.
Trees down on a residence in the area. Image from James Young.
An aerial view of the damage on Weldon Road. Image from Truman Boyle.

Chris Landers, a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy, lived in that demolished home on Weldon Road with his fiancee Cristi Mercer and his daughter Logan. Mercer’s son, Landon, was not at home the night of the tornado. Per the Monroe County Reporter, on April 29, 2011, Landers woke up around 1 am. He thought he heard hail hitting the house, so he started down the hallway to check on Logan. The home shook. Chris crouched down and suddenly was thrown 20 yards into the backyard. Cristi was also tossed from the house. “Logan Landers was catapulted from her bedroom into a ditch in the neighbor’s yard.” The home was demolished with only a remnant remaining. Remarkably, they all survived!

In an interview for WGXA, ten years after the event, Chris Landers said, “One minute you’re in the hallway. The next minute, you’re in the backyard.” The family made it to a neighbors house to seek shelter and await transport to the hospital. Cristi told WGXA, “I was sitting on the floor with her [Logan], just cradling her and just singing Amazing Grace to her over and over and over. That’s all I could do. That’s all I could think about doing, was just singing to her and trying to keep her calm.” The family was assessed at the hospital. They had some scrapes and bruises but no broken bones. Logan had a cornea abrasion, made several trips to the doctor, and eventually healed from the injury.

An aerial view of what was left of the Lander’s home. Image from Truman Boyle.
Debris from the home. Image from James Young.
Another view of the remains. Image from James Young.
Where the home once stood. Image from James Young.

A mobile home was shredded and additional residences damaged on Westbrook Road before the tornado moved into forested areas. Less than a mile away, along Highway 42, John and Marlene Deaton were in their brick home on their 4-acre property the night of the tornado. Their son left his double-wide mobile home to shelter with them. A total of six family members and a friend hovered in the hallway approximately 15 minutes before the tornado hit. The twister left a hole in the Deaton’s roof, and about 60 trees were downed. One of the trees fell on their son’s pickup truck. Per the Macon Telegraph, “The backyard batting cage for the grandchildren was gone, the merry-go-round John Deaton built for the kids was mangled, and the in-ground pool was filled with trees.”

A mobile home that was destroyed on Westbrook Road. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.
A tarped over residence. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.
Extensive tree damage on Highway 42. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.
An aerial view of the Deaton residence. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.
The pool that was filled with trees. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.

Jimmy and Judy Pettigrew also lived along Highway 42. They lost thousands of trees on their property. Per an article on April 25, 2012, in the Monroe County Reporter, Steve and Robin Goodwin, who lived in a travel trailer on the Pettigrew property, decided to stay at the house due to the threat of severe weather. The tornado flipped the trailer over twice, and the couple may not have survived if they had not stayed at the Pettigrew home.

The tornado continued to wreak havoc as it moved northeast. Two more houses received substantial roof damage on Gregory Road, and on Freeman Road, a mobile home was smashed. On Lassiter and Blue Ridge School Roads, a manufactured house was shifted off its foundation, and several mobile homes were torn apart. Large outbuildings were demolished, telephone poles were snapped into pieces, and a handful of residences sustained some form of damage. The twister reached a maximum width here of 1,640 yards (0.93 miles).

Damage on Lassiter Road. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.

Minor roof damage occurred in a neighborhood of manufactured housing before the vortex abruptly shrunk to about a half-mile across. No other buildings were hit before it crossed into extreme southeastern Butts County.

The last structure damaged in Monroe County. Image from the Monroe County Reporter.

Butts and Jasper County

The twister only spent two miles in Butts County and during this time changed little in structure. On Mt Pleasant Ch Road, the steeple of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church was toppled and left hanging on the roof by a wire. A storage building behind the church was tossed into the woods.

The swath of completely uprooted or snapped trees continued into Jasper County. The forest was flattened in a circular pattern, leaving a visible scar on satellite for many years after the event. Even though the devastation in forested areas was extensive, no homes were hit until almost five miles after it entered the county. Four properties were affected on County Road 143, but it’s unclear what sort of damage they sustained. Along Nelson Road, the twister dissipated at 1:24 am EDT, approximately 5.6 miles SW of Monticello.

A view of the extensive blowdown near the end of the path in Jasper County. Image created using Google Earth imagery taken January 28, 2012.

Aftermath and Recovery

Ten years removed from that tragic night, trees and vegetation along the twister’s route have grown back. Most homeowners have rebuilt though there are several sites where only foundations remain. For those who lived through it and those who helped in the recovery, the memories of the 2011 tornado will always remain vivid

Barnesville Herald-Gazette.
Image from Becky Watts.

More than 30 homes were utterly destroyed and roughly 110 damaged along a 51-minute and 43.20-mile track. Twenty-two were injured, and two died. Damage costs were in excess of $15 million.

The outpouring of community support for the hard-hit areas in this part of Middle Georgia was overwhelming. Numerous service organizations and churches from across the state of Georgia and around the country took part in the recovery effort. The Salvation Army was onsite along Grove Street the day after the disaster. Within days a fund was established through the Barnesville-Lamar County Community Foundation for storm relief. By May 11, 2011, donations of $100,000 had been collected.

The community coming together to clear the Gunter properties. Image from The Barnesville Herald-Gazette.

Becky Watts with the Pike County Times told us that it was so beautiful how people came to help. She recalled a man who came to her sister’s house and chopped up one of the fallen trees into firewood. He didn’t want anything at all. He just wanted to help. She said there were chainsaw crews from various churches. Buckets with food and supplies came in from another state “just kind of appeared out on Grove Street.” Becky told us that the Georgia State Defense Force came out to help not only with clean-up but with security. They protected Grove Street from looters.

Georgia State Defense Force providing support and helping with clean-up. Image from Becky Watts.
Supplies gathered from the community. Image from Becky Watts.

Pastor John Stallings of Shepherd’s Hill Church in Louisville, OH, partnered with the Barnesville Church of the Nazarene after hearing about the tornado disaster. He organized a group from his church to take their trailer with supplies to Barnesville. They brought 400 care kits with personal care products, diapers, snacks, etc. They were also loaded up with chainsaws. The team went in mid-May of 2011 with the goal to serve wherever needed. They helped several families haul away debris and remove trees. The pastor documented on his Facebook page that they were also asked to help a family who had no one to help them clean up. The team was truly a blessing to the community.

Shepherd’s Hill Church group helping with clean-up. Image from John Stallings.
Taking time to pray for the victims. Image from John Stallings.

A group of about 30 teens and leaders from the student ministries division of Gracepointe Nazarene Church out of the Loganville/Grayson, GA area made a trip in July 2011 to help with recovery. The group contacted Pastor Lonnie Grant with the Barnesville Church of the Nazarene to find out how they could help. Per an article in the Pike County Times, the pastor directed the team to the Gunter properties because there was still so much debris to remove. Danny Gunter arrived while the team was there, and they prayed with him. “He was tearful, but hopeful,” said Rhonda McGinnis, a member of Gracepointe.

The group scoured the woods littered with debris looking for anything they could salvage. Amazingly, they found several photos and a wedding ring that belonged to Danny’s wife, Lynn. From the Pike County Times, “During the course of seven hours of cleaning up debris, some of the teens found a stick in the form of a cross and tied it to the top of the broken tree where an American flag has been waving since the night of the tornado. They also found two large sunflowers growing in the broken trees, and one teen told how he was cleaning up the rubble and was shocked to find a nest full of baby birds.”

Finding Lynn Gunter's Ring. Image from The Pike County Times.
Flowers growing in the midst of the debris. Image via Gracepointe Student Ministries.
Image via Gracepointe Student Ministries.
Picking up debris. Image via Gracepointe Student Ministries.

Patti Gunter recalled in her book the tremendous amount of support received after the tornado. They stayed with her parents, and their house was full of donations. Folks in the community provided clothes, shoes, furniture, and household items. Several friends helped with clean-up, and churches provided food.

She remembered a man who was an orthopedic surgeon from Florida. He had been at a seminar in Atlanta, heard about the Gunter family, and came down to assist in any way he could. After a few weeks of recovering from their injuries, Patti and Marty were ready to search for a new home. They found one with a lot of acreage in Lamar County. “It was a beautiful home, a perfect place for Marty to build a shop and a perfect place for Chloe to grow up.”

Marty, Patti, and Chloe spent the first anniversary of the tornado at Disney World. They decided that they would go some place every year and “not dwell on what happened to us.” Patti noted that on that Disney World trip, Marty said, “From now on, this is not the anniversary of the tornado, instead it’s the anniversary of us becoming a family.” The Barnesville Herald-Gazette interviewed Chloe and Patti for an article ten years after the event. Chloe, now 18, is an honor graduate at Lamar County High School. Her goal is to attend the College of the Ozarks in Missouri and study criminal justice. Chloe wants to be a police officer. Per the article, “I could not do a kind of office job or something that’s the same day after day. I want to help people, and that is a job that would let me do that – something different and important.”

Chris Landers began the clean-up of his Monroe County home immediately. One of the first things he needed to find was a small white jewelry box. It contained the rings for his July 23, 2011, wedding to Cristi. Per the Macon Telegraph on April 29, 2011, ‘“The rings were in the nightstand by my bed,’ Chris Landers said, pointing to a flipped-over mattress near the edge of the wreckage where his house once stood. ‘(Now) the nightstand is nowhere near there.’”

The rings were eventually found buried in the rubble. The family’s three dogs all survived the tornado. In an April 25, 2012 article for The Monroe County Reporter, Chris commented that he thought “it was amazing that their four-pound chihuahua Bailey was unharmed, while their 800-pound refrigerator was hurled through the air.”


Professional photographer James W. Young was on a photographic tour of the U.S. and blogged about his adventures at www.youngsphotogallery.com. He was on I-75 heading to Titusville, FL, to watch the shuttle launch. The launch was scrubbed, and on his way back north, he stopped to view the damage and take photos. Per his blog, “I first was to the west of I-75, on Smith Road, when a couple stopped and told me about the Lander’s family and house. I immediately drove to their home on the east side of I-75, got permission to take images, along with his story to put on my website. I have never seen, up close and personal, such devastation with my own eyes. It wasn’t easy as he took me on a tour of the entire house, now just a concrete slab, and where each of them were!!”

James resides in the Pacific Northwest. He noted in an email to us that, being from the northwest, he had never seen a tornado or the type of damage it could cause. James was very moved by the Landers’ situation and left them the emergency funds he carried when he traveled, approximately $1200. From James’ blog, “Chris then called me an ‘angel’, but I corrected him. The couple who told me of the Lander’s situation were the angels…I only delivered what the spirit told me.”

Chris and Cristi were still married on July 23 as planned. Per an article for the Monroe County Reporter, a year after the event, the family had rebuilt on the spot of their previous home. But in an interview ten years later, it was revealed they had moved from that area. Cristi has been dealing with PTSD from this event. From WGXA-TV, “I would dread coming home, just knowing that it happened there,” Cristi said. “When bad weather would come, I would freak out. I would leave, go to my parent’s house, go to a friend’s house, just to get away from that area because I wasn’t sure if it would hit again.”

John and Marlene Deaton were interviewed a year after the event for the Monroe County Reporter. They had trees down all along their property off Highway 42. John saw the tornado as a blessing. “I don’t have to worry about pine beetles anymore. And it cut out a week of cleaning pine cones and straw.” He also noted that it opened up more acreage of the pasture so he could keep more cows. The couple was overwhelmed by the amount of help received to clean up their property. “We had people who I didn’t have a clue who they were, and neighbors, and some from Macon,” said John.

Jimmy and Judy Pettigrew were also interviewed for the Monroe County Reporter article a year later. They had lost thousands of trees on their property on Highway 42. It had been a challenging year for the family. The stress of the cleanup contributed to health problems for Jimmy. A year later, they were still working on tree removal, including those lodged in their fish pond. Judy was still able to keep a positive perspective, and it was noted she doesn’t get nervous when bad weather approaches. “We’ve alway had weather and we’re always gonna have weather. God saw us through that one, and I trust we’re gonna make it on til it’s time for us to leave this world.”

These small communities in Middle Georgia rallied together to recover from a horrific late-night tragedy. They served without ceasing and focused on moving forward and not looking back. We wanted to end this section with a story from Patti Gunter’s book. It epitomizes their focus on staying positive and remembering what is important in life. After the tornado, it became widely known that there was a little girl in Barnesville who had lost her parents. The Gunters allowed an interview with Fox 5 in Atlanta. Patti described in her book that they were walking around the property. They reached a point where Paul and Ellen’s porch used to be. The reporter saw something on the ground and picked it up. It was a cross key chain with the words “With God all things are possible.” Patti said, “I use that key chain still today, a constant reminder of God’s goodness.”

Analyzing The Damage On Grove Street

The destruction off of Grove Street, particularly to the Gunter properties, was apocalyptic and of the highest magnitude. It is some of the most extreme ever documented in Georgia history and deserves a closer look at its exceptional ferocity. While as many as ten houses were effectively destroyed, two in particular show this twister may have been vastly stronger than the official minimal EF3 rating.

EF scale trends based on mapping of the contextual evidence. These polygons do not represent exact damage ratings. They are rough estimations of the trend in intensity. The swaths serve only as a visualization of where the most extreme winds appeared to be concentrated. Before Google Earth imagery from late 2010.

The First EF4 Candidate Home

The first was a six-year-old, one-and-a-half-story frame home just north of where the center of the twister passed. It had a concrete masonry unit (CMU) foundation, with only a small portion of the blocks filled with grout and rebar. This was the place of Patti Gunter, who we talked to for this summary. She and her husband built the residence themselves. She said the house was secured to the foundation “with big bolts and washers attached every so often.” Photographic evidence showed that this was precisely the case.

The twister leveled most of the unfilled blocks from the foundation. Beyond that, there were only a few bits of debris on the ground left in the vicinity of where the house had stood. No substantial remains were deposited anywhere, only small pieces scattered in the forest hundreds of yards away. A shop just northwest of the home experienced lesser winds, with the debris and part of a cinderblock wall left at the location.

Damage patterns also indicated a suction vortex completed a trochoidal loop over this spot. When the small vortex accelerated towards the east after looping, it strengthened a little. This is likely because it became more closely aligned to the forward motion. A stone tree ring planter filled with mulch and a medium-sized tree inside took a direct hit at that point. It disappeared with only some disturbed dirt and a few splinters left. There was a sharp damage gradient, with trees just north of the home either snapped/uprooted but only mostly stripped, but immediately to the south, all trees were obliterated.

An aerial view from Truman Boyle of the devastation where Patti’s home once stood. Two before images from Patti Gunter are referenced within the photo.
Patti’s home before the tornado. Image from Patti Gunter.
Patti’s home after the tornado. Image from Patti Gunter.
Another after view of Patty’s home. Image from Danny Bishop.

The Worst Structural Damage

The most impressive structural damage was to another Gunter residence about 110 yards southeast of the aforementioned house. This was the home of Uncle Danny. The structure was located just south of the center of circulation.

This one-and-a-half-story home was less than two years old when the tornado hit. It was built to be stronger than a normal residence. Per Patti Gunter, it “was built to hurricane specifications,” and “it should have done better than it did in the tornado.” The foundation was built of firmly reinforced and fully filled/sealed concrete masonry encased on the outside by brick veneer. It rose perhaps a little less than a foot above the ground. Some additional reinforced masonry columns were located in the open space inside the foundation.

The house disappeared, with only a few remaining pieces of plumbing, brick, inside the foundation. The rest of the house was granulated, with tiny fragments scattered into the forest. A large portion of sill plating was also torn out.

Danny’s new home before the tornado. Image from Google Street view imagery taken in May of 2009.
Danny’s new home after the tornado. Image from Becky Watts.
An aerial view from Truman Boyle of this location. Specific structures are labeled for reference.

A small portion of the brick veneer on the raised part of the foundation was stripped, but a majority stayed attached. One of the metal railings to the house on the steps was not torn off, while the other was. A sidewalk path to the front stairs curved from the side of the home around to the front. It was made of some form of sealed brick or reddish stone tiles. A small portion of this was broken apart and pulled out, and the entire part of the walkway on the northwest side of the house was slightly dislodged.

A closer view of some of the sidewalk/path that was damaged at Danny’s home. Image from Becky Watts.

What is most interesting is the clear extensive metal straps used to anchor the panel and sill plates together to create a sturdy reinforced connection to the wall. In a spring 2021 presentation on the eventual coming update to the EF-scale, Tim Marshall listed this as one of the things that constitute a house as having “stronger than typical resistance.” The destruction of the residence was incredibly complete and total, so we don’t understand much more about how it was built.

Special metal straps on a board pulled out of the forest several months later. Image taken by Gracepointe Student-Ministries.

Due to the contextual damage patterns, we believe this house was struck by a suction vortex that was sling-shotted northeastward into the home. It was separate from but simultaneous to the one that struck Patti’s residence. The scarring patterns of the ground and debris scattering, vegetation damage, grass scouring, and other contextual evidence show the worst winds were mostly just in narrow swaths.

There was a tight gradient to the damage. Per Danny Bishop, a broadcaster who examined the aftermath of this tornado himself, “The inner core of this storm was so much more intense than the outer edges of it… you could just physically draw a line, you could walk the line” along the gradient of damage.

In some areas on the property, the tree debarking to mature forest with hardwoods and softwoods alike was simply amazing. The debarking was just as intense, if not worse, than several of the EF5 tornadoes that occurred in the outbreak. In the suction vortex swaths off of Grove Street, shrubs were ripped upwards, debarked, and stripped of vegetation.

Amazing debarking of trees on the Gunter properties. A street sign, which most likely originated over a mile away, was embedded and twisted into the right-hand tree. Image from Danny Bishop.
Shrubbery damage variation likely due to suction vortices. Image from Becky Watts.

It is the opinion of Tornado Talk that there is no question that the damage at the Gunter’s property was representative of at least high-end EF4 damage, if not stronger. Shown below are various photos showing both the damage highlighted above and some other interesting damage at the Gunter properties.

Incredible destruction of trees. Image from John Stallings
More extreme tree debarking and one of the areas of possible grass scouring. Image from Danny Bishop.
A screwdriver in a debarked tree. Image from John Stallings.
A haunting image of a photo still embedded in a torn apart tree roughly two and a half weeks after the tornado hit. Image from John Stallings.
Paper stuffed into a tree. Image from Danny Bishop.
A carpet from an unknown location hung on a stunted tree in front of the remains of Paul and Ellen Gunter’s manufactured home. Image from Danny Bishop.
A piece of a telephone pole left in the debris on the Gunter properties. Image from Danny Bishop.
A doorknob that was somehow torn out of a door but still left intact. Image from Danny Bishop.
It is not uncommon for pieces of wood to be embedded in trees in strong tornadoes. In this case, however, the plywood itself was impaled by part of the tree. Image from Danny Bishop.
An aerial view from Truman Boyle of the remains of Danny’s old residence.
A ground level view of tossed cars near the remains of Danny’s old residence.
At top, the foundation of Danny’s new home. At center right, the remains of Paul and Ellen Gunter’s manufactured residence. Image from Truman Boyle.
A view of some of the residences destroyed on Grove Street. Image from Truman Boyle.
Another aerial perspective of the destruction on Grove Street. Image from Truman Boyle.
Part of a crumbled garage door that was found in the forest several months later. Image from Gracepointe Student-Ministries.

Radar Imagery

Despite occurring at 1 am, this tornado had a notable appearance on radar. Several interesting features are highlighted in the images below.

A loop of the tornado’s lifecycle on radar. There is a gradual upward trend in intensity until the twister nears Barnesville. The velocity couplet skyrockets to over 200 mph with an area of missing pixels over Grove Street. There is a gradual downward trend in intensity for the rest of the tornado’s life.
2011 Landsat imagery in Google Earth showing the scar produced by the tornado in comparison to the radar.
A view of Grove Street within missing pixels in the maximum velocity couplet produced by this tornado.
A broader reflectivity view of the storm over Grove Street.

Discrepancies

The overall maximum rating discrepancy with this tornado is discussed in the Grove Street section of the summary. However, there are other important facts to note that conflict with the official record. Information is pulled from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), April 2011 Storm Data Publication (SDP), personal research, and analysis of aerial and satellite imagery.

The Start:

The tornado officially begins in Pike County, GA; the coordinates are placed along the swath of blowdown just off of Highway 3. Tornadic treefall can be traced 4.9 miles further WSW into Upson County. The start time is accordingly pushed from 12:38 am EDT to 12:33 am EDT.

The tornado damage in Upson County is detailed in the Upson and Pike Counties section of the summary.

The NCDC entry for the Warm Springs tornado, which preceded this twister, states the following: “Within Upson county, the tornado traveled through a mostly rural forested area and as such structural damage was minimal. However, two structures were destroyed, four suffered major damage, and 6 others sustained minor damage. Thousands of trees were damaged or destroyed, along with several power lines. Some outbuildings were also damaged or destroyed. There were no fatalities or injuries reported from this tornado along its path, including Upson county.” However, extensive satellite analysis shows that the tornado remained in wooded areas and did not impact any structures. Therefore, we believe the structural damage mentioned at the end of the Warm Springs tornado entry was actually caused by this one.

Width:

Officially, the maximum width of this tornado is 1056 yards in all counties listed (Pike, Lamar, Monroe, and Butts). The twister was rapidly expanding as it crossed from Pike into Lamar County, but at the point, the center crossed the county border, the width was about 700 yards based on treefall patterns. In Lamar County, the maximum width based on treefall is 1,620 yards. In Monroe County, the maximum width seems to have been 1,640 yards, and in Butts County, 940 yards.

Path Length:

The official path length from all official sources is 30.82 miles. Satellite-based extensions of the path from treefall indicate a track of 43.20 miles.

Monroe County Rating:

The Monroe County portion of the track was rated 120 mph EF2 in the NCDC and SDP. However, a large, one-and-a-half-story house was razed along Weldon Road with only a corner left standing. Damage of that nature is typically indicative of an EF3.

The End:

Officially, the tornado path ends just into Butts County as an EF0. Based on satellite, very significant tornadic treefall continues over seven miles further and into Jasper County. Extending the track makes for a new radar estimated ending time of 1:24 am EDT.

Video

Sources:

The Storm Prediction Center

April 2011 Storm Data Publication

NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Pike County

NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Lamar County

NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Monroe County

NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Butts County

NWS Peachtree City Event Summary

Damage Assessment Toolkit

Google Earth

Google Maps

newspapers.com

Patti Gunter – God Is Good All The Time….Even In The Storm

James Young

Danny Bishop

Truman Boyle

Jeff Cox

Will Davis of the Monroe County Reporter

Walter Geiger of the Barnesville Herald Gazette

Gracepointe Student Ministries

Monroe County Emergency Management

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Rick Smith

John Stallings

Becky Watts

2011, ‘BENEFEST concert on June 25 benefits tornado victims’, Thomaston Times, The (GA), 17 Jun, p. 3A, (online NewsBank).

2011, ‘Georgia town knocked flat’, Athens Banner-Herald (GA), 29 Apr, (online NewsBank).

2011, ‘Tornado survivors had minutes to seek refuge’, Independent Record (Helena, MT), 29 Apr, (online NewsBank).

Fabian, L. (2011, April 28). Storms kill two, destroy homes in Barnesville; major damage in Monroe. The Telegraph.https://www.macon.com/news/article28609336.html

From rubble to rejoicing. From rubble to rejoicing – Barnesville.com. (n.d.).http://www.barnesville.com/archives/4769-From-rubble-to-rejoicing.html

Geiger, Walter. “Help pours in.” barnesville.com, April 29, 2011.http://www.barnesville.com/archives/3573-Help-pours-in.html

Geiger, Walter. “Tornado was F3; relief fund established; federal assistance now available.” Barnesville.com, April 30, 2011. http://www.barnesville.com/archives/3574-Tornado-was-F3;-relief-fund-established;-federal-assistance-now-available.htmll

GRANT, C 2011, ‘Monroe couple loses rings for July wedding’, Macon Telegraph, The (GA), 29 Apr, (online NewsBank).

Killer tornado: Ten years after. Killer tornado: Ten years after – Barnesville.com. (n.d.). http://www.barnesville.com/archives/13565-Killer-tornado-Ten-years-after.html?fbclid=IwAR1PlTmrcnKryCTsHh0vmFUcVsuI_Z8OU-DmibxNTX2QZOWzuaezf4pzl4A

Kovac Jr. , J. (2011, April 29). ‘Mama blew away’: Couple killed in Barnesville tornado. The Telegraph. https://www.macon.com/news/article28609372.html

Lamar And Spalding Tornadoes Rated EF-3. WCG News. (n.d.). http://upsontoday.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html

Pike County Times .com Online! (n.d.).http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/tornado4.27.12.html?fbclid=IwAR0rNgfLtr7qafPw2uXa4gD6z7d7P7JD2UozfATxHzhQrUezH0Aw7-8LTNQ

Pike County Times .com Online! (n.d.). http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/tornado4.29.11.html?fbclid=IwAR2pWPGJ9twIqTb_W4FHZB0b9RbjQ-QC-n9To-H0puGDxvKudGZxATApUEw

Pike County Times .com Online! (n.d.). http://o1nkybaby.site.aplus.net/secondary/tornado7.16.11.html

Stanford, L 2011, ‘Weems Road tornado seems to spare one home, but not another’, Thomaston Times, The (GA), 3 May, p. 1A, (online NewsBank).

Staff and Wire Reports, F 2011, ‘Butts County spared brunt of storm’, Jackson Progress-Argus (GA), 5 May, (online NewsBank).

Storm Recovery Slow in Monroe County. Forsyth. (n.d.). http://forsythmonroe.13wmaz.com/news/news/storm-recovery-slow-monroe-county/52046

The Beast Came In The Middle Of The Night. Fun101.1 Local News. (n.d.). https://fun101fm.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-beast-came-in-middle-of-night.html

The Monroe County Reporter April 25 Page 1. The Monroe County Reporter Newspaper Archive. (n.d.). http://mcr.stparchive.com/Archive/MCR/MCR04252012p01.php

Tornado slams north Monroe County. Monroe County Reporter. (2016, March 8). http://www.mymcr.net/news/tornado-slams-north-monroe-county/article_85d1bc0e-c1ee-5f8e-8a78-172d0647a626.html

WMAZ. (2018, May 16). Weather Rewind: EF-3 tornado hits Monroe Co. in 2011.https://www.13wmaz.com/article/news/local/weather-rewind-ef-3-tornado-hits-monroe-co-in-2011/93-552313990?fbclid=IwAR0XSOfgUnJhD6o-aR9qUWTZ-y0pHLI1tckDUcvIAf-LAjnLHwyjtDysE0I

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