Storm front produces tornado in Early Co.

National Weather Service says preliminary damage indicates EF-2 tornado

Storm front produces tornado in Early Co.
This image shows a house that was destroyed by a tornado near Damascus Monday evening (Source: Ga DNR)

DAMASCUS, Ga. (WALB) - A cold front that mixed with a warm front in Southwest Georgia produced a tornado Monday, in Early County and the edge of Seminole County, near Damascus.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Fla. found preliminary EF-2 damage from the tornado.

The survey is still ongoing and the National Weather Service said the rating may change.

No deaths were reported, and injuries sustained by several people were not life-threatening. There was significant property damage.

Melvin Cratic
Melvin Cratic (Source: WALB)

Melvin Cratic is trying to stay positive.

“I’ve been laughing a lot of times,” he said. “I’ve been laughing to keep from crying I guess.”

Cratic said he’s lived in his home for 40 years, raised four boys’ kids there, and now it’s gone.

Cedric Cratic was shocked when he saw his childhood home. He said he was relieved to see his family safe.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Cedric said. “It was a blessing they made it out okay and everything. That’s all that matters, material things can be replaced.”

It won’t be easy though.

After searching through debris all day, the family was able to salvage only a few belongings.

“We gone have to start all over again,” Melvin said. “If I’m blessed to see July this year, I’ll be 67-years-old.”

Melvin Cratic's home after Monday's storm.
Melvin Cratic's home after Monday's storm. (Source: WALB)

Melvin said his family went through Hurricane Michael but this was something different.

His family, he said, is trying to just get back on their feet.

The Cratic family is one of several families getting assistance from the Red Cross.

Early County leaders were working to help after Monday’s severe weather.

They plan to assist families by helping clean up debris.

The Red Cross of Southwest Georgia says six homes were significantly affected by the storm in Early County.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Rangers reported that a brick home on the south side of Damascus was completely leveled. All load-bearing walls were destroyed and there is a pickup truck on its side in the rubble. The family reported that there were injuries, but none were life-threatening.

Killebrew Road, near Bull Street, had trees and debris on the road Tuesday morning, with a few homes that are damaged by tornadic winds.

Georgia State Patrol has asked everyone to please stay away from this area, so they can make sure it’s safe before anyone comes to the area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Tallahassee says the Damascus tornado had its origins in Bay County near Panama City Beach, and it moved quickly northeast yesterday afternoon. NWS Meteorologists in Tallahassee have found preliminary EF-2 damage for the tornado that affected Damascus, but this rating is not final, as assessments are continuing.

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