Our Georgia History

1974 Tornado Outbreak in Georgia
April 4, 1974 The 1974 "super outbreak" of tornadoes badly damages counties in north Georgia.
  1974 Tornado Outbreak in Georgia

7 tornadoes, and perhaps more, hit 13 northern Georgia counties on April 4th, during one of the worst outbreaks on records. Striking in two waves , one in the afternoon and a second during evening hours the storms moved through lightly populated rural areas. Although part of a much larger system, these storms took 17 lives, injuring 104 and causing $15 million damage.

About 1:00 p.m. EDT the first tornado touched down near Cherry Log, Georgia, northeast of Ellijay in Gilmer County. It moved east along Lake Blue Ridge's shore in Fannin County. About 5 p.m. EDT a second tornado came in from the west, crossing Haralson County and causing a death of a Georgia man. It then turned northeastward tearing through Paulding County before it curved north-northeastward, ending in Bartow County, just east of Cartersville. 20 people were injured.

About 5:40 p.m. EDT another storm struck near Sugar Valley in Gordon County, passing through Resaca and into south Whitfield and Murray Counties. It killed 9 and injured 54.

Sometime after 5:30 yet another tornado struck Pickens, Cherokee, and Dawson Counties, killing 6 and injuring 30. During the evening two more tornadoes hit Fannin County, and at 8:00 EDT one touched down near Dillard (Rabun County).

The 1974 "Super Outbreak" saw tornadoes strike 13 states Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. 148 tornadoes killed 330 people in those state on April 3rd and 4th, 1974.

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