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Social Circle storm confirmed as tornado

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — A storm that hit with little warning Wednesday has been confirmed as a tornado.

The National Weather Service on Thursday said an EF-1 tornado struck the area with maximum 100 mph winds.

The weather service issued a tornado warning at 7:24 p.m. for northwestern Morgan, northeastern Newton and eastern Walton counties. A minute earlier, radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado over Social Circle and moving northeast at 20 mph.

No watches or warnings for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes were in effect at the time, although most of north and middle Georgia have been under a flash flood watch since Tuesday.

Most of the damage centered in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Social Circle-Fairplay Road just outside the Social Circle city limits.

Chief Mike Moore of Walton County Fire Rescue said six or seven homes were damaged in the county. A cellphone tower reportedly was toppled as well, hindering communications into Thursday morning.

A tree also was reported down along power lines along Alcovy Trestle Road, 3 miles north-northwest of the Brick Store community in Newton County.

Spencer Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Atlanta office in Peachtree City, said a survey team remained in the Social Circle area early Thursday afternoon and had not completed its report.