YEAR IN REVIEW: Newton County battled tornado, flooding, snow

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- Newton Countians felt the scourge of Mother Nature during 2009 with unprecedented flooding, a category F-1 tornado and a snowstorm that caused havoc mostly in the eastern portion of the county.

Areas adjacent to the Yellow River were underwater as flooding of historic proportions took place in September following several days of intense, torrential rainfall.

Residents of Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park on Access Road and those on West Dollar Circle and Sycamore Road were evacuated while brown, debris-filled, foul-smelling waters could be seen rising minute by minute. Firefighters took boats through areas that had formerly been streets to reach some of the victims.

While normal levels of the Yellow River as it runs through Newton County range from 4 to 61/2 feet, waters crested at about 23 feet during the flood, authorities said.

Private property, roadways and infrastructures were damaged throughout the county due to the rising waters. Water reached the steel underpinning of the Brown Bridge Road bridge near Ram Drive, causing that major thoroughfare to be closed from Turner Lake Road to Crowell Road for several days before an inspection could be conducted.

Crowell Road between I-20 and Harold Dobbs Road and the Mt. Tabor Road bridge were both closed until November following temporary repairs.

In February the residents in south Newton County awoke to hear high winds slashing through their community. No lives were lost, but property damage was extensive, including massive power line damage. There were approximately 40 homes, mostly in the High Point Forest subdivision and on King Bostick Road, that were damaged to some degree. Other areas that suffered damage included Channing Cope Road, Henderson Mill Road, Flat Shoals Road and Ga. Highway 36.

Snapping Shoals reported a total of 26 broken power poles with 11,500 outages.

The tornado was classified by the National Weather Service as an F-1, meaning it had sustained winds of 100 mph.

In early March, snow paid a visit and seemed to fall most heavily in the eastern section of Newton County. Schools were closed, church services were canceled, traffic accidents were rampant and many businesses delayed opening as roadways proved treacherous during the storm that dropped as much as 7 inches of snow in some areas.

Newton County Public Works removed plenty of downed trees that blocked roadways and power companies throughout the area reported massive outages.