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Sheriff: ‘We dodged a bullet’

A long-track tornado, which originally touched down near Talbotton then ripped through Upson County early Monday, largely spared Lamar County. ‘We dodged a bullet and I am thankful for that,’ sheriff Brad White said of the twister which was headed right for his Redbone home at one point. His deputies were out in force, many with their own chainsaws, clearing roads in the wee hours with public works personnel. The storm did considerable damage in the area of Yatesville, Ritchie and Mica roads before going aloft and largely skipping over Redbone before disappearing to the northeast. Susie Dorsey, 43, was in her home at 2400 Yatesville Rd. as the storm system approached. Her father, Alton Kendrick, called her at 2:17 a.m. and she fled to his home down the road. The storm walloped her cabin at 2:30 a.m. The pressure deviation sucked windows out of the hand-chinked cabin and lifted the roof off before setting it down in place. Several outbuildings were leveled and multiple trees were down. The home of Barnesville police officer Jesse Blackmon and his family at 399 Jackson Rd. in Upson County near Topeka Junction was heavily damaged. Jesse Blackmon was on duty but his wife Emily, also a police officer, was home with two children when the twister struck. They were trapped for a short time but no one was injured. A gofundme.com account has been set up to help the family. It is titled ‘˜Officer and family in need’. Elsewhere, the county had only a few downed trees and limbs which were quickly dealt with, according to commission chairman Charles Glass. Southern Rivers Energy had 4681 members without power at the peak of the outage. That had been whittled down to around 200 at press time Monday. Many were in the Resthaven Road area of Upson County where the road remained impassible early Monday afternoon. On Hwy. 74 in Upson, a home was lifted off its foundation and dropped nearly intact into the middle of the highway. There were no reported deaths in Upson and only a few minor injuries. Barnesville had two small power outages which were cleared up by 5 a.m. Monday. There were no other issues, according to city manager David Rose.

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