Tornadoes

Throughout the day, we’ve been hearing about the possibility of tornadoes  coming through metro Atlanta.   During my more than half a century witht WSB-Television, I’ve lived through two tornadoes, chased several others, and covered the aftermath of an uncounted number of funnel clouds.   My most memorable tornado was March 24, 1975.  It became known as the “Governor’s Tornado” because of the damage it did to the Governor’s mansion in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.  I lived about 3 miles away.  It was a little after 7 a.m. when I heard a tornado had been sighted moving in my general direction.   I grabbed my Bolex movie camera.   It was daylight as I stepped out the door.   The winds were blowing.   Suddenly it went from daylight to dark.  I trained my camera on the darkness, but through the lens finder I could see nothing.   There was an eerie silence, then a roar as the winds increased and began bearing down on me.   I started the silent camera, but all it recorded was black film.   I retreated back inside and headed for my prayer closet.   I prayed.    In less than a minute, the tornado was gone.   It left huge trees uprooted, homes destroyed and frightened neighbors on the street surveying what the tornado had done.  My home escaped with only minor damage.  It was time for me to become a reporter telling my personal experience and covering the aftermath for the next several months.

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