Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA


April 5, 2008

Straight-line winds spur destruction


CORDELE — Saturday morning brought about some heavy rain and straight-line winds which caused problems for residents of Cordele.

In various places all over the city, power was out, trees were down, and a number of traffic lights were out of commission.

“We were never under any tornado warnings or watches. This just came along all of a sudden,” said Sheriff Donnie Haralson, head of the Emergency Management Team for Crisp County. “Of course, it is possible to tell the difference between tornado damage and that caused by straight line winds like today. Surveying the damage, you will notice how things seem to have just blown over in the same direction . . .

“In the aftermath of a tornado, things seem to be more twisted. For example, following a tornado trees look as though they have been completely twisted out by the roots. In the case of straight-line winds, they just look as though they were knocked over.”

Several trees were knocked down around Cordele yesterday. One residence located on 15th Avenue East had a tree turn over onto its roof. Just down the street, a large tree on the playground of O’Neal preschool toppled over and just missed a set of swings.

Shanta Bowen, a teacher for the school, stopped and stared in disbelief. “That tree has been here a long time and it will certainly be missed by both the students and the teachers,” she said. “The kids loved that tree, and the teachers enjoyed the shade that it provided on hot days as they watched their students on the playground.”

Many of the toppled trees damaged power lines. As a result, much of the city became veiled “in the dark”. Several neighborhoods around the city suffered a loss of power, as did several businesses.

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