Widespread damage across Spalding County following strong storms

City and county officials said 8 people in the area were critically injured in the storm but are now recovering and will survive.
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 7:17 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The damage is substantial at the Dollar Tree on North Expressway in Griffin.

Workers spent the day cleaning up the store after an awning collapsed during Thursday’s strong storm.

It was a moment an employee working next door at the UPS store will never forget.

Mandi Mabrey said everyone inside hunkered down under tables as a tornado ripped through the parking lot.

“You can see winds just flying through and a customer pulls up and he can barely get in the door and as soon as he gets in you literally see the tornado. You can see it spinning. I’m surprised that the tree is still standing because you could see it bent over,” UPS Store Employee Mandi Mabrey said.

The storm also downed trees and powerlines throughout Spalding County. Plus, it damaged Mabrey’s home.

“I kept trying to call them to see if they were okay and no answer so I just came down here as fast as I could,” neighbor Bobby Garcia said.

Bobby Garcia rushed home from college to check on his family. They survived but the back of their home and pick-up truck were hit hard.

“I’m thankful that we’re alive. We’ve just got to count the blessings that we have and any day above ground is a beautiful day,” Garcia said.

City and county officials said 8 people in the area were critically injured in the storm but are now recovering and will survive.

“Our hearts go out to our community. We’ve seen some extensive damage from the west side of the community all the way to the eastside,” Spalding County Manager Steve Ledbetter said.