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East Hall resident said he saw funnel cloud form

POSTED: August 31, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS /The Times

A rainbow peeks through the clouds Tuesday evening from the yard of James Passmore at his Timberidge Road home. A tornado splintered Passmore's sheds and knocked down numerous trees.

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Trees and power lines were down. Debris from houses littered the streets and yards. And residents of East Hall experienced a tornado’s raw power when it hit the area Tuesday.

The tornado touched down in East Hall around 6:20 p.m. and damaged three residences along Timberidge Road and two residences on Hewell Road, according to Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle.

The house at 5215 Hewell Road saw the most severe damage, with the front section of its roof blown off.

The storms that passed through East Hall, North Hall and South Hall were spawned by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay.

Col. Jeff Strickland of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office added that there were no injuries to report from that area.

Police blocked off the two roads for about two hours while crews made sure the families affected were safe and to start cleaning up the damage.

"We’re also leaving officers here all night to protect the residents’ homes," Strickland said.

Residents like Felicia Miller, who lives at 5211 Timberidge Road, said she would be staying with her family for a while.

She was working at East Hall Middle School when the storm hit, and her two dogs were safe when she got home.

Her home itself, however, suffered major damages. Part of the roof was ripped off, and the front porch was completely gone.

"I just feel lost," Miller said. "I feel like I’ve lost everything I’ve got."

Just down the road, Tony Passmore was inside his home when he heard reports of a tornado coming on his weather alert machine.

"We had less than a minute to get inside the storm shelter." Passmore said.

He ran next door to his grandmother’s trailer and they both went into the storm shelter until the tornado passed.

"I actually saw it form. All of a sudden it just dropped. You could feel the pressure and the suction of the tornado in the storm shelter," Passmore said.

Passmore said he was the first person to call in the storm and its damage, and the Hall County sheriff and fire departments responded quickly to his call.

"I was still looking at it (the tornado) when I called it in," he said. "The Hall County support was awesome — I mean, they came right after I called."

"I’ve never experienced this before, but it’s definitely something you’ll never forget," Passmore said.



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