Putnam County Remembers 1992 F4 Tornado | Families
by Tom George, 13WMAZ.com
The last time an F-4 tornado hit central Georgia was on November 22, 1992, in Putnam County.
From 4:45 to 5:20 pm, the twister began on Jones-Putnam line and went 20 miles through Putnam and 12 miles into Greene.
Altogether, there were 5 fatalities and 86 injuries. 66 homes in Greene and 68 homes in Putnam were destroyed, including damage to some vacation homes. The dairy industry suffered $18 million in losses, and over 300 cattle were killed.
Deborah Cooper of Eatonton was at home making dinner when her husband came home and told the family they should go from their mobile home to their parent's brick house.
She and her husband crouched down over their 15 month old daughter. That's when Cooper was lifted up by the storm.
"It felt like the floor was being snatched from under us," she said. "The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the middle of the yard and all this debris and stuff was around me."
Ironically, the family's brick house was destroyed, but the mobile home they escaped from was left standing. Aside from some injuries, the family recovered, but 5 others lost their lives.
"Either from flying debris or a house collapsing on them," explains Putnam County Coroner Gary McElhenney. He says one man was actually pinned underwater when a wall collapsed.
Some in Putnam County say the recent events in Oklahoma brought the tornado back in the mind. They say those affected are in their prayers as well.
"Those people are having hard time right now," says McElhenney. "I know probably a lot harder time than we did in '92, and my heart goes out to them."
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