By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
CALHOUN, GA (WRCB) -- Ruth Ingram spent much of her Friday throwing more storm debris into a pile on her front lawn. She was at work at Shaw Industries when an EF-3 tornado as wide as nine football fields tore through her east Calhoun neighborhood two days ago with 160 mile per hour winds. She took cover as she warned her mom to seek shelter.
"I did call my mom who lives in Adairsville and let her know that it was coming through," said Ingram.
Adairsville, around 9 miles to the south, was hit even harder and one person died there. The women were physically unharmed and Ingram has been staying at a hotel. But when she returned home shortly after the tornado struck she was shocked at the damage.
"I knew when I turned in at the start of the neighborhood, when I saw how bad it was, I didn't think I would find my house standing," said Ingram.
She was relieved to see the only thing which moved was her storage shed. It got blown off cinder blocks into her neighbor's back yard. Her home, only a few years old, mainly suffered blown out windows.
"I look at everybody else's house and I'm thankful because it could have been worse," Ingram acknowledged.
She knows mother nature doesn't play favorites when it comes to who gets hit and who doesn't. With help from the community the pieces continue to be picked up.
"It [the weather] doesn't care who it affects," explained Ingram. "This is just our time to go through."
And just because she hasn't built a whole lot of memories in this house yet, Ingram hopes it can be made whole again.
"The plan is to rebuild and keep living," states Ingram.
Strong tornadoes in the winter are rare, even in the South. Wednesday's tornado was only the fourth EF-3 in January in the state of Georgia. The most recent was on January 2, 2006.