Tornado Response

Walton County Fire Rescue responds after a tornado struck in the Gratis community Monday afternoon, May 3, 2021, in Monroe, Ga.

MONROE, Ga. — The tornado that hit Gratis on Monday was on the weak end of the scale for twisters, but still packed enough punch to do damage.

National Weather Service surveyors confirmed the tornado this week as an EF0 rating with estimated peak winds of 85 mph.

The storm touched down at 12:39 p.m. and was on the ground for three minutes.

According to the weather service, the storm snapped several trees along a path on either side of Ike Stone Road and caused minor structural damage to a fence and home between Beagle Run and Paul Verner Road.

The home also sustained damage to a few larger pine trees as the storm reached its peak winds.

A ground survey showed the storm appeared to lift just northeast of the area of Ike Stone Road and Mount Vernon Road Northwest.

A woman who lives in the Gratis area made a video of the storm and posted it to social media, leading weather service personnel to make a judgment Monday the storm was a tornado.

Northwestern Walton County including Bold Springs, Loganville, Monroe and Walnut Grove went under a severe thunderstorm warning — along with southwestern Barrow, southeastern Gwinnett and northeastern Rockdale counties — at 11:53 a.m.

The warning expired at 12:30 p.m., minutes before the tornado touched down, and the storm’s path was just beyond the scope of the warned area.

Monday’s storm becomes the first tornado in Walton County since Aug. 1, 2018, along Social Circle-Fairplay Road.

The weather service confirmed multiple tornadoes on Monday.

  • The strongest tornado of the day came at 10:22 a.m. when twister touched down over an industrial area of southwest Fulton County, just east of the Chattahoochee River. The storm intensified quickly between Westgate Parkway and Tradewater Parkway, near Fulton Industrial Boulevard, and caused roof and wall damage to several large warehouses.
  • Winds reached 90 mph in a storm in Douglas County.
  • An EF1 tornado with peak winds of 90 mph in Madison County caused tree and roof damage near Danielsville.
  • An EF0 tornado with peak winds of 80 mph touched down near Winterville and crossed into Oglethorpe County, damaging a barn and trees.

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