NWS confirms EF-1 tornadoes hit Cherokee, Cobb counties - New York News

NWS confirms EF-1 tornadoes hit Cherokee, Cobb counties

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -

The National Weather Service confirmed that two EF-1 tornadoes struck Cherokee and Cobb counties during Thursday night's round of severe storms.

The EF-1 classification means the tornado had wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph.

FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Ken Cook said that the first tornado touched down around 7 p.m. about 5 miles west of Canton and moved southeast about 8.5 miles. The tornado was only about 75 yards wide, Ken said.  It had winds of around 105 miles per hour.

As that tornado was ending around 7:30 p.m., a thunderstorm spawned another tornado south of Woodstock and Cherokee counties. It traveled on a southeast path east of Kennesaw, into the northeaster parts of Cobb County before finally crossing the Chattahoochee River into the Sandy Springs area.

The tornadoes knocked down hundreds of trees, about five of which struck vehicles in the Cherokee County area.

Patricia Johnson was traveling on Arthur Drive when a huge pine tree came crashing down on her Toyota Highlander.

Cherokee County EMS Chief Danny West was one of the rescuers on the scene.

"She was pinned inside the car. The top was completely crushed on her," West.

West said that after first seeing the damage, he thought the driver didn't make it, but then he heard her.

"Very surprised that she was actually even talking to the crews and saying she was pretty much uninjured at the time," West said.

A tow truck had to be brought in to lift the tree off of Johnson's SUV.  Rescuers used the Jaws of Life to reach Johnson, and then the 58-year-old surprised everyone by getting out of the car on her own.

"It's very surprising to see someone in that magnitude of an accident get out on their own free will," West said.

The Cherokee County mother was alert and at first refused medical treatment.

"Luckily we convinced her to go to the hospital and she did have some substantial injuries once they assessed her at the hospital and she was later transferred her to another facility," West said.

Johnson is in an Atlanta hospital, where she is said to be doing OK.

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