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January storm impacts Cobb, damages homes and businesses

Storm damaged house with fallen trees
January 12, 2023

UPDATE January 14 --

WEATHER SERVICE: Tornado hit Austell area

A National Weather Service team toured the damage in the Ivy Log area of Austell following Thursday's storm.  They determined an EF1 tornado with 110 mph winds hit the area.  The mile-and-a-half-long path started in Douglas County near the damaged warehouse in Lithia Springs and moved eastward into Cobb.

Fifty homes were damaged in the area, with 16 destroyed or significantly damaged.  All the homeowners had insurance, and the Red Cross was working with other families on any immediate needs.

There was damage across the county from the storm.  Those who did not call 911 and have not been visited by damage teams should report their circumstances in our portal at
UPDATE January 13 -- 

We are fortunate that none of our Cobb residents were seriously injured during the storms that caused so much devastation across the state this week.  Cobb Emergency Management and GEMA officials formed a damage assessment team that surveyed the hard-hit Austell neighborhoods earlier today.

Watch the video for details of that assessment and to view images of some of the storm’s destruction.

For those in Cobb who suffered damage to their homes or property and did not call 911 or meet with the assessment team, please report your details to us at

Some details:

* The team found 50 homes damaged in the Ivy Log neighborhoods alone.  Of those, 16 are considered destroyed or damaged enough to be uninhabitable.

* No serious injuries were reported.  One person was hit by debris and checked out at a hospital.  A second person suffered a cardiac event and was also treated at a hospital.

* A National Weather Service team will likely decide next week if the damage in Austell was from straight-line winds or a small tornado.  There was no active Tornado Warning in the area at the time.

* Cobb DOT crews worked much of the day across the county to clear debris.  They opened 25 roads the night of the storm and handled another 26 calls today.

* Damage was reported in all corners of the county. Please use the reporting tool listed above to ensure we have a complete view of the storm’s impact.
January 12 -- 

A fast-moving storm rolled through Cobb County on January 12, damaging dozens of homes and businesses, and closing multiple roadways.  The most significant reports came from the Austell area, where damage reports were concentrated around the Oak Ridge Parkway / Blairs Bridge Road area.  Damage assessment in that area will continue into the night.  No significant injuries have been reported.

picture of storm damage

No Tornado Warning was posted for the area at the time, so the county's outdoor warning sirens, activated by computer, did not go off.

Residents are asked to report damage to our online reporting portal at  This can be accessed by phone or computer and will allow those who have not called 911 or aren’t sure if their damage has been recorded to report it to us.  A damage assessment team will then follow up with them.

A summary as of 6:30 pm:

  • 911 calls from the Austell came in around 3:30 pm, reporting significant damage.  This included the warehouse on Oak Ridge Parkway, where the side of the building caved in.  
  • Firefighters went street to street in the neighborhoods around Ivy Log Drive.  They have found 18 homes with damage; 14 of those have damage significant enough that the Red Cross will assist the residents.
  • Cobb DOT continues to clear downed trees countywide; as of this writing, they have cleared 25 roads and assisted in clearing 11 flooded roadways.
  • We anticipate a National Weather Service team will join our EMA crews to look at the damage, but there were no active Tornado Warnings for the area at the time, and there is a possibility this was a straight-line wind event.
    picture of Cobb DOT crews
picture of storm damage