HomeOutdoorsWeatherTerrified Driver Caught in Deadly EF-3 Tornado in Georgia

Terrified Driver Caught in Deadly EF-3 Tornado in Georgia

by Caitlin Berard
Disaster Area Left Behind in Wake of Georgia Tornado
(Photo by clintspencer via Getty Images)

A Georgia woman faced brutal winds, blowing rains, and an altogether terrifying ordeal while driving home from the dentist’s office in the midst of a deadly EF-3 tornado.

On January 12, Stephanie Dubberly departed her dentist’s office, hoping to get home before the worst of the severe storm battering the Peach State descended upon her town. As she drove, however, the weather began to shift rapidly. Still nowhere near her home, the view outside of her windshield more closely resembled a nightmare than the streets with which she was so familiar.

As the unforgiving wind nearly ripped the trees from the ground, visibility dropped to zero, the road ahead devolving into a fathomless sea of gray. Panicked and lost, Dubberly made a desperate call to her husband for comfort. As she attempted to explain the situation, an EF-3 tornado tore its way across the Georgia road, the wind roaring loud enough to be heard clearly in her horrifying dashcam footage.

The chaos in which Dubberly found herself trapped was the result of just one of seven destructive storms that struck Georgia last Thursday with deadly force. Tornadoes touched down in six counties across Georgia, killing at least nine people across the southeast.

Dubberly, who was driving through Griffin when the tornado hit, will always remember it as the “scariest moment” of her life. The driver was “lucky” to avoid injury, escaping the ordeal completely unscathed. The rest of her hometown, however, wasn’t as fortunate.

Griffin, Georgia, Left in Ruins Following EF-3 Tornado

Stephanie Dubberly’s hometown of Griffin was left in ruins following last week’s string of tornadoes. The total number to hit Georgia was ten, but Griffin received the hardest punch by far. At one point, four tornadoes were on the ground at the same time in the small Georgia city.

One of those was the most powerful of all – the EF-3 Dubberly saw while driving home. The tornado carved a path of destruction stretching over 30 miles in length, uprooting trees and reducing homes and buildings to rubble with ferocious 150 mph winds.

“I yelled at my kids to get in the laundry room and within 12 seconds, the first tree hit the house. More trees hit the house and we felt the wind lifting our house,” Beth Meneses, a Griffin resident, told 11Alive. According to Meneses, the tornado robbed her family of both their home and their vehicle.

The final tornado count remains under investigation. The National Weather Service will release additional information in the coming days.