SPC Stats

Path length: 2 miles

Width:  100 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  1

Rating:  F2

County:  Sumter

Ten tornadoes occurred on January 15, 1971, nine of which were in the state of Georgia. We look at one of those, later rated F2. It was the only one where a fatality occurred.

There is a discrepancy on the rating.  The Storm Prediction Center has an F2 rating. Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes believes the damage was more consistent with an F1 rating.

The tornado developed ten miles east of Americus in rural Sumter County and moved east for two miles. A mobile home was being towed by a tractor-trailer. It was blown on top of the cab, killing the driver. Many trees were downed. A boat house was destroyed at Lake Blackshear on the Flint River.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates (only one point since path is short):  Start: 32.05 / -84.03

Corrected Coordinates:

Start:  31.992366/-83.996561     End: 31.993397/-83.953872

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


We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the January 1971 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:


  • SPC/NCDC have an F2 rating.
  • Grazulis has an F1 rating.


    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    January 1971 Storm Data Publication


    Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1120.

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