National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Storm Survey Report for Jackson & Madison counties, Georgia
Damage Related to Remnants of Hurricane Ivan

September 21, 2004

by Jeff Dobur and Barry Gooden
The National Weather Service conducted a storm damage survey on September 21, 2004 across Jackson and Madison counties. The purpose was to examine damage that occurred within bands of showers and thunderstorms associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan on September 16, 2004. There was a desire to determine if the damage was the result of a tornadoes, or from straight-line winds.
[ damage paths across Madison County ]
Madison County - Danielsville
Damage was surveyed in two areas of the county. One damage path was observed from just south of SR 72 near Wagner Grove Church Road across the Kingston Road subdivision to just east of Danielsville near Madison H.S. along SR 98. Several homes along the path had some structural damage with extensive forest damage in a few locations. Aspect ratio of this damage was narrow and fairly long with estimated width of 150 yards on average and path length about 7 miles. A convergent debris trajectory was also observed. One hip roof home in the Kingston subdivision had a leeward facing garage blown outward which led to the failure of the top plates and roofing. The converging winds and suction may have lead to this failure in addition to the lower pressures on the leeward side induced by the wind flow over the roofing. Splatter was also observed on the east facing walls of one home while a heavily forested area had trees down to the north indicating possible circulating winds. A significant number of other homes had some structural damage to mainly roofing or top plate damage. Several failures were due to windward facing garages which lead to the leeward side walls blowing out. One person did see the tornado though she was not home at the time. Overall, the damage was determined to be a tornado with winds estimated at near 100 MPH F-1 on the Fujita Scale.

Madison County - Paoli
Damage was observed in a small area from near Paoli from near the intersection of New Hope Church Road to Paoli New Towns Road moving north-northwest toward Collins Brooks Road. A barn was completely destroyed along with a number of topped trees within the path. A few homes on Collins Brooks road had some minor structural damage. A few trees along Collins Brooks Road had been debarked though unsure if diseased. Based on the aspect ratio and extent of damage, the damage was mostly likely a weak tornado in the F-0 scale.

[ location of damage in Jackson County ]
Jackson County - Nicholson
Damage was surveyed in a small area in the town of Nicholson at the corner of U.S. 441 and GA 335. Several trees were down mainly toward the north and northwest. Minor structural damage was observed to a home on U.S. 441. Overall, there was little data to support tornadic circulation. Aspect ratio of the damage are was broad (short and wide) and there was little to no convergence signature. Most of the smaller debris was picked up and the overall relative gradient of damage was minimal with mostly tree damage/toppling. One resident said the wind came in two peaks.

Conclusion: Wind gusts of 70 to 80 MPH are likely the cause of this damage.


Examples of Damage in Madison County, Georgia ( click images to enlarge )
[ home damaged by tornado spawned by Ivan ] [ home damaged by tornado spawned by Ivan ]
[ home damaged by tornado spawned by Ivan ] [ home damaged by tornado spawned by Ivan ]

Examples of Damage in Jackson County, Georgia ( click images to enlarge )
photos courtesy Chad Fouche
[ trees down in yard ] [ trees uprooted ]
[ tree on power line ] [ tree damage ]

Some maps courtesy Georgia Department of Community Affairs