STORM BLOG: Red Cross opens shelters to provide emergency essentials

Powerful storms damage metro Atlanta
Powerful storms damage metro Atlanta(Atlanta News First)
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 1:06 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 at 1:21 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A strong storm system moves into North Georgia Thursday afternoon bringing with it the threat of damaging winds, hail and brief tornadoes.

11:57 P.M.

The Red Cross has opened two shelters “to provide emergency essentials and emotional support for families in need.”

The shelters are at First United Methodist Church at 1401 Maple St. in Griffin and Faith Baptist Church at 552 Hammett Road in LaGrange.

11:40 P.M.

Storm rips off side of warehouse in Austell

11:22 P.M.

Some students were trapped in schools in Spalding County.

Students stranded in schools in Spalding County

11:07 P.M.

Houses have been destroyed following powerful storms in Troup County.

11:06 P.M.

The city of Griffin has imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“Local State of Emergency- A curfew is imposed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. effective immediately. Residents, unless “exempt individuals” as defined herein, shall remain in their homes or on their property during the curfew period. Please see the detailed resolution at for a list of exempt individuals. #griffinstrong

Local State of Emergency- A curfew is imposed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. effective immediately. Residents, unless "...

Posted by City of Griffin, GA - Government on Thursday, January 12, 2023

9:51 P.M.

The Butts County Coroner has confirmed one death “possibly due to the tornado.” A six-year-old was crushed by a tree.

9:05 P.M.

The man who was trapped inside of a home in Griffin has been rescued. There is no other information available at this time.

Man injured after tree crashes through Georgia home
Atlanta News First at 9 p.m. first half (M-F PeachtreeTV) - VOD

8:40 P.M.

At this time, the National Weather Service believes there were at least 6 tornadoes in metro Atlanta -- 1 in DeKalb County, 3 in Spalding, and 2 in Troup County. That number is not confirmed at this time.

Six tornadoes reported in metro Atlanta
Six tornadoes reported in metro Atlanta(Atlanta News First)

8:38 P.M.

The Henry County Police Department is advising motorists to avoid I-75SB.

8:30 P.M.

A rescue operation is underway in Spalding County after a large tree fell on a house in Griffin. According to the fire department, the man is trapped in his kitchen. First responders have been trying to rescue the man for about 2 hours and a crane is on the way to the scene. The man is reportedly alert and able to talk. He is being provided oxygen and medical personnel are also on the scene.

Rescue operation underway in Griffin


7:31 P.M.

6:57 P.M.

Jasper County Schools will be closed Jan. 13.

6:40 P.M.

Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency.

6:10 P.M.

Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services is reporting they have cleared all roads of debris and utility providers are on scene. At this time, they are aware of damage to 18 homes and 14 families have been displaced in the area of Ivy Drive in Austell.

WATCH LIVE: The First Alert Weather Team has your wall-to-wall coverage as severe weather makes its way across Georgia.

Damage reports continue to come in from across Georgia

Powerful storms damage metro Atlanta

Hobby Lobby has been destroyed due to severe storms in Griffin, Spalding County.

Several thousand residents remain without power following a round of severe storms, high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes. Georgia Power says restoration efforts remain underway.

Community members are being advised to:

  • Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
  • Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
  • Don’t step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
  • Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
  • Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road – it’s the law in Georgia.
  • Protect electronics and appliances. Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power returns to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.

5:34 p.m.

Tornado Watch has been canceled for Metro Atlanta.

5:23 p.m.

Several trees down in Peachtree City as heavy rain and strong wind gusts move through the area.

Ground stop lifted at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

5:18 p.m.

All Tornado Warnings have expired. Tornado Watch remains in effect until 7 p.m.

5:17 p.m.

The National Weather Service reports Severe Thunderstorm Warning in Madison, Greensboro and Union Point until 6 p.m.

5:14 p.m.

This is what one home in Sharpsburg, Coweta County is dealing with after severe storms passed through the area.

5:11 p.m.

Troup County Sheriff’s Office is asking residents to remain off all roads as severe storms pass through the area.

Interstate 185 at mile marker 47 southbound has been shut down.

Trees down and blocked traffic on I-185 in Troup County

5:08 p.m.

Georgia Power reports 20,607 customers are without power as severe storms continue to move through Georgia and metro Atlanta.

Tornado warning remains in effect for Jasper, Putnam, and Morgan counties.

Storm damage in Cobb and Fulton counties

5:04 p.m.

Significant damage reported in Cobb County. At this time, officials are urging everyone to avoid Austell near Blairs Bridge Road, Oak Ridge Parkway and surrounding areas.

A tree falls onto a home near Trailwood and Kennesaw Drive in Smyrna.

DAMAGE REPORT: Fallen tree on house in Smyrna.
DAMAGE REPORT: Fallen tree on house in Smyrna.(WANF)

5:01 p.m.

Significant damage seen in Collier Hills as severe weather moves across Georgia.

Collier place and Spring Valley Road
Collier place and Spring Valley Road((WANF))

4:56 p.m.

TORNADO WARNING issued for Putnam, Morgan, Newton, Butts and Jasper Counties.

4:52 p.m.

Dangerous tornado spotted on the ground en route to Locust Grove. Butts and Spalding Counties remain under TORNADO WARNING.

4:42 p.m.

Spalding County Hobby Lobby has reported significant damage to store as TORNADO WARNING continues.

4:33 p.m.

Butts County is now under a Tornado Warning until 5:15 p.m.

Henry County, Newton, and Spalding County remain under Tornado Warning.

4:29 p.m.

Atlanta News First confirms a tornado is approaching Griffin at this time.

4:22 p.m.

Tornado spotted in Griffin and DeKalb.

4:16 p.m.

Henry, Clayton, Rockdale, Newton counties under TORNADO WARNING until 4:45 p.m. Confirmed tornado spotted on the ground near Jonesboro.

4:11 p.m.

4:05 p.m.

Confirmed tornado spotted in Wooster, GA.

Tornado Warning continues in Griffin, Experiment, and East Griffin until 4:45 p.m.

4:04 p.m.

Georgia Power map shows 15,000 neighbors without power across the state.

In Fulton County, 6,305 customers are without power.

In Troup County, an estimated 20% of all residents are without power.

3:57 p.m.

Meriwether, Pike, and Spaulding Counties remain under Tornado Warning until 4:45 p.m. Atlanta News First confirms a tornado has been spotted on the ground.

Peachtree TV 7-7:30

DeKalb and Fulton Counties are no longer under a tornado warning.

3:51 p.m.

Tornado warning remains in effect for DeKalb and Fulton Counties.

3:48 p.m.

Reports of tornado on the ground near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

3:44 p.m.

Reports of building collapse in LaGrange as tornado moves through.

3:41 p.m.

Atlanta News First has confirmed a tornado was spotted on the ground in Troup County.

Atlanta News First at 3 p.m. - VOD

3:38 p.m.

A fast-moving tornado is on the ground and moving north of LaGrange.

Atlanta News First at 3 p.m. - VOD

3:33 p.m.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued until 4:15 p.m. for Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Habersham, Rabun, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

3:26 p.m.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for the following Georgia counties: Carroll, Coweta, Putnam, Fulton, Meriwether, Heard, Troup and the Alabama county of Randolph until at least 4 p.m.

3:19 p.m.

Hail spotted in Cherokee County as Georgia prepares for impacts from severe weather.

3:15 p.m.

A TORNADO WARNING has been issued for Heard and Troup counties.

Atlanta News First is keeping you informed with up-to-the-minute weather reports and active Thunderstorm/Tornado Watches and Warnings.

3:10 p.m.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Heard counties until 3:30 p.m.

This is the scene in Acworth right now. The rain is coming down hard. Starting to see some flooding on roadways. Occasional lightning and thunder.

3:00 P.M.

A Tornado Watch has been issued for northwest Georgia until 7 p.m. This means tornadoes will be possible over the next few hours. Click here for detailed information.

2:52 P.M.

2:39 P.M.

1:55 P.M.

Atlanta News First has received reports of multiple trees down in the Mobile Road area of Fannin County.

1:49 P.M.

1:46 P.M.

1 P.M.

WATCH LIVE: Tornado Watch issued for parts of northwest Georgia

WATCH LIVE: Tornado Watch issued for parts of northwest Georgia. #ATLnewsfirst #atlantanewsfirst #FirstAlertWeatherDay #atlantaweather

Posted by Atlanta News First on Thursday, January 12, 2023

12 P.M.

As of 11 a.m., a Tornado Watch has been issued for far NW Georgia until 5 p.m. This means tornadoes will be possible over the next few hours.

11 A.M.