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Tornado touches down in Pike; two dead in Lamar

A tornado warning was issued for Pike County around midnight as lightning continuously lit up the sky. A tornado which hopscotched southeastern parts of Pike County, touching down on Highway 19 south and also on Piedmont Road. On Grove Street in Barnesville, it destroyed several houses, leaving two dead. The tornado apparently first touched down near the intersection of Turner Bridge and Piedmont Roads, crossed Highway 18 West crushing a home and then devastated the home of Josh and Amanda Horne on Old Milner Road but the family was unhurt. The storm then cut through the 400 block of Grove Street where it left a swathc of destruction 400 to 500 yards wide, destroyed multiple homes and left two dead. Deputy coroner Cindy Killingsworth and Rev. Garth Forster were among those trying to identify the mangled bodies, a task that may have to wait for daylight. It is hoped no more bodies will be found. The tornado then crossed Hwy. 41, damaging the home of Joe and Pat Edwards on Dozier Hill and destroying the Hot Shot store and the home of Paul Buice across Atlanta Street from the store. According to Maj. Morris of the Pike County sheriff’s office, five deputies helped with damage in Barnesville. ”The damage was terrible in Barnesville,” he said. “There were several sections that got hit hard.” Maj. Morris said no structural damage or injuries were reported to the sheriff’s office. ”The Piedmont Road area got hit real hard,” he said. “Several trees and wires were down and roofs got ripped off homes. It’s just a blessing it went around us. Lamar, Spalding, Upson and Merimether all had lots of damage and here we are in the middle and it missed us somehow.” If you want to volunteer to help in storm’s aftermath, call the Lamar County Emergency Management Agency at 770.358.5166. They are coordinating volunteer efforts. Photos and Lamar County coverage by Walter Geiger, publisher of the Herald-Gazette.

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