SPC Stats

Path length: 8 miles

Width:  1760 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  3

Rating:  F3

County:  Habersham

A total of 17 tornadoes occurred on November 15, 1989. Five were in the state of Georgia. This summary looks at a tornado officially rated F3 that crossed through parts of Habersham County. Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes gave this tornado an F2 rating.  

This twister developed west of Clarkesville near the intersection of GA Highways 17 and 105.  Per the Storm Data Entry, winds were estimated to be greater than 150 mph.  Max winds reached within ten feet of ground level. The worst damage was in the Stone Pile community five miles NW of Clarkesville.  The second stories of several homes were “totally removed”. Six homes were destroyed and six others were damaged.  “Three mobile homes were flattened”. Seventeen chicken houses on a poultry farm were leveled and approximately 250,000 birds were killed.  There was property damage reported in the New Liberty area and tree damage near the Habersham-Rabun County line. The tornado dissipated at the mountain ridge 7 miles WSW of Tallulah Falls.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 34.62 / -83.6      End: 34.7 / -83.5

Corrected Coordinates based on Storm Data:

Start:  34.581699/-83.614360      End: 34.722444/-83.517790.

Note: When you plot the path of the damage listed in storm data you get an 11 mile path. 3 miles longer than the 8 that is officially reported.

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

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the November 1989 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a width of 1760 yards.
  • Storm Data has a 1320 yard width.
  • Grazulis has the width at 800 yards.

Rating:

  • Grazulis has a rating of F2.
  • Remaining sources have an F3 rating.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      November 1989 Storm Data Publication

      newspapers.com

      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1290.

      Questions or comments about this summary?  Contact us here!

      Join the tornado history discussion on our Discord Server!

      Note:  There are some images/videos in our summaries that were licensed to us to be used only on this website. If you would like to use an image/video in your project or blog, please contact us and we will grant permission if possible.

      Newspaper clips are embedded via newspapers.com.  Please see their terms and conditions.

      X