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EF-2 tornado tears through Cook County, GA; damage to homes but fortunately no injuries reported

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 21:43:42-05

COOK COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Instead of having practice today, the Cook High School baseball team helped clean up the neighborhood along Kent Drive to bring some peace of mind to the community.

"Tops of several trees around here have been snapped out," said Mike Bradford, who lives along Kent Dr. in Adel, Ga which saw some of the worst damage from Sunday's EF-2 tornado that tore through over 5 miles of Cook County; packing wind speeds up to 115 miles per hour in some parts of the area.

"We came and got into our safe place and the wind came through and probably less than 30 seconds it was all over we were safe and everybody in the neighborhood was safe which we were thankful for. We all got out yesterday afternoon when it was over and kind of made sure everybody was ok," said Bradford.

"This was the hardest hit area that we had in the county," said Johnny West, the Cook County Emergency Management Director. He says 20-30 homes in Adel and the neighboring town of Sparks were damaged from the storm, mostly from downed trees.

"A crane over there getting a tree off the roof of a house and so just the entire community has chipped in. 6 years ago to the day we had an EF-3 tornado come through and it killed 7 in a mobile home park just south of Adel and so it’s on the hearts and minds of everybody," added West.

Monday, the National Weather Service Tallahassee surveyed the damage which ranges from twisted and snapped trees, to damaged homes and structures. Meteorologist, Israel Gonzalez, says the storm started near Interstate 75 and lasted 8 minutes until lifting near the Berrien County border. The NWS reported the highest winds happened on Mitchell Drive in Cook County.

"A couple of buildings we saw had a bolted foundation where it was shifted off the foundation a bit and a couple of steel beams that were taken off," said Gonzalez.

Adel Mayor, Buddy Duke, worked with a local restaurant to give out free meals to utility crews and volunteers working to clean up and restore power. He says volunteers and neighboring community utility crews are helping get the city back to normal.

"We can replace what's been damaged thankfully no lives have been lost and nobody got injured," said Duke.

Utility crews are working along Kent Dr. to restore power which is still out for many homes the area. They hope to have power back on within the next couple days.