Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tornado - USA (Georgia) JUN

SANDFLY, GA (WTOC) - From a distance the registration building at the Forest City Gun Club looked intact. But a closer look revealed just how devastating Thursday's Tornado really was. Big, plate windows blown out, the roof caved in, and a brick wall crumbled into a pile of rubble.



Office Manager, Teresa Moore, was less than 50 feet away, in the clubhouse, when the storm hit.

"The rain looked funny because it was coming in sideways, and then it started hailing," said Moore. "The hail got bigger and bigger, we were told to get away from the windows, about that time everything went black."

When Teresa emerged a few minutes later, she was shocked by what she saw. A shed blown to pieces, trees toppled over on the lawn, and the registration building partially collapsed.

But it wasn't until she walked around to the back of the building did she realize how strong the storm was. Part of the building was cracked, and moved off it's foundation.

"It's just devastating to look at it and to look at the grounds because the grounds are usually so pretty and all," she said.

In a WTOC exclusive we obtained aerial photos of all the damage. The building is a total loss and will have to be demolished.

The National Weather Service out of Charleston says the tornado blew the windows out, then lifted up the roof, crashing it back down onto the building. It's a consolation to the members to now know exactly what caused all this destruction. But now the real work begins.

The Forest City Gun Club is rich with history. The private club started in 1883. It moved out to the Sandfly area in the 1950's. It's the second biggest gun club, and the oldest organization, in the country.

Over 700 members call the grounds and clubhouse home. Teresa believes many of those members will be back to help them rebuild.

Teresa is just thankful no one was hurt.

"It was very amazing," she said. "Somebody upstairs was looking out for us."

The Forest City Gun Club is not sure when they'll be able to re-open. But they hope to hold more shoots in the near future. - Source

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