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Weather Rewind: EF-3 tornado hits Monroe Co. in 2011

The tornado was part of a record breaking system that spawned 178 tornadoes across the southeast

Throughout the month of May, WMAZ is ‘rewinding the clock’ and looking back at some of the biggest weather events in Central Georgia over the last 20 years.

This week, Meteorologist Hunter Williams is taking it back to April 2011 when an EF-3 tornado hit Monroe County.


Just after midnight on April 28, 2011, an EF-3 tornado ripped along the area of I-75 just north of the Johnstonville Road exit.

The National Weather Service called the storms of April 28 and 29 an ‘epic outbreak’ of tornadoes.

In total, the storm system spawned a record 178 tornadoes across the southeast – including several EF-5s.

The EF-3 tornado touched down originally in Pike County around 12:30 a.m. before travelling northeast into Lamar County where it killed two people in a home just outside Barnesville.

The tornado continued its path across northern Monroe County where it damaged several homes.

One family was running to their bathtub for cover when it hit their house and pulled them out.

All three family members survived with only minor injuries.

As it crossed the interstate, it tossed three tractor-trailers and their drivers into the trees.

In all, the tornado was on the ground for approximately 30 miles and more than half an hour with a maximum speed of 140 mph.

A little over an hour later, an EF-1 tornado touched down in Putnam County near Lake Sinclair.

Many trees were downed and several homes around the lake saw damage, but no one was hurt.

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