EF-4 tornado damages homes, buildings and a high school in Newnan

There is destruction across Coweta County after a devastating EF-4 tornado tore through Newnan. Officials say one person died from a heart attack during the storm. Numerous homes, businesses and the high school have extensive damage.

"When it started beating at the door I just layed against the door with all my might," said Jeanie Melson Wilburn.

Wilburn huddled with her husband in the bathroom as the storm moved in.

"My thought was I can't let it get in here because if I let it get in here it's going to swirl us around like it's doing everything else," said Wilburn.


"I heard lightning and thunder, then we heard a roaring sound... then BAM!" said Jimmy Wilburn.

The Wilburns looked up and saw the sky. Their roof was gone. Their home, like many of their neighbors' on Boone Road in Newnan, was ripped apart by the powerful EF-4 tornado.

They are just a block or so away from Newnan High School.

"It's rough. There's a lot of extensive damage all over the whole school," said Newnan High School Football Coach Chip Walker.

Huge trees are down and roofs have been yanked off the buildings. Debris is scattered across the campus. Newnan High School Football Coach Chip Walker says things don't look much better inside, but they will recover.

"This community is strong, you've seen them they're already rallying together. We'll get it right there's no doubt about that," said Coach Walker.

As crews spent the day restoring power, roofers set up blue tarps to prevent further damage, and homeowners, like the Wilburns picked up the pieces of their lives scattered across several yards.

"We're safe and that's a blessing. I'm sad for the loss of things, but I'm happy we have our lives," said Wilburn.

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