Monday, March 17, 2008

The Atlanta Tornado

I was on the phone. In mid-sentence, I said, "What the hell is going on?" The sound increased to a very loud level. I couldn't hear on the phone. Suddenly it went dead and the lights went out. A huge piece of cloth, a temporary covering for a large billboard west of me, was blowing east above the MARTA tracks. The tree outside my window bent every limb in line with the powerful wind. And then it was over.

The electricity returned. I turned on the TV and learned that we had experienced a powerful storm that had ripped a hole in the Georgia Dome, damaged the CNN center, tore the facade off Phillips Arena, sucked or blew some windows out of several hotels and the Georgia Pacific building. The lights went out and after getting bored reading by candlelight, I went to bed.

Saturday morning I saw the pictures on TV of the damage to Oakland Cemetary, the shearing of the top floor from the northwestern building of the Cotton Mill Lofts and the downed trees and ripped off or damaged roofs in Cabbagetown. Later even more became apparent. Apartments and homea north of Dekalb Avenue had been severely damaged, windows had been sucked out of the King Memorial MARTA station and some surrounding buildings. Electric wires were down along with trees to the point that the neighborhood north of Dekalb Avenue was impassable.

After walking around the neighborhood this afternoon, I can see how likely it could have been that this building that could have been damaged. I consider myself fortunate.

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