NWS: 2 tornadoes hit Fayette 3 days before Christmas

Fayette County escaped a potential brush with disaster Dec. 22 as two minor tornadoes struck within two minutes of each other, some 13 miles apart, according to reports released late last week by the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

One of the twisters hit a rural area near Lake Horton in south Fayette County, heading onto Mud Bridge Road in Woolsey. The second tornado touched down in the area of Ga. Highway 92 and Lees Mill Road.

That’s right: they touched down within two minutes of each other, but on opposite ends of Fayette County, more than 13 miles apart.

The Woolsey twister struck first at 6:16 p.m. packing winds of 95 mph when it touched down on the northeast shore of Lake Horton, according to the NWS report. It then traveled northeast for 1.6 miles before lifting just north of the end of Mud Bridge Road, officials said.

The tornado snapped or downed 35 trees, uprooting several large trees, caused minor roof damage to two homes and destroyed two outbuildings including a large barn, according to NWS.

The Lees Mill Road tornado landed around 6:18 p.m. just west of Ga. Highway 92 off Lees Mill Road, going northeast about a mile before lifting near the end of Hill Road. Some 50 trees and six power poles were downed or snapped, especially along Hill Road, but like the Woolsey tornado this one left relatively minor damage.

The new dual polarization radar at the NWS Peachtree City office, one of the first in operation in the country, may well have shown some tornado debris as small as pine needles lifted into the air from the tornadoes, said NWS Science and Operations Officer Steven Nelson.