ATLANTA – A tornado twisted through the streets of downtown Atlanta Friday night, March 14, inflicting structural damage initially estimated at $150 million.
The Georgia World Congress Center reportedly suffered the greatest amount of damage. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “windows were shattered, seats were scattered and portions of the ceiling sustained major damage. The Journal-Constitution quoted Insurance Commissioner John Oxednine as saying, “There is not a building that is safe” at the GWCC.
The storm was blamed for two deaths and injuries to 16 other people.
Damage was also sustained by the adjacent Georgia Dome, where the Southeastern Conference Basketball Tournament was being played when winds estimated at 130 miles per hour ripped at the building’s roof.
The GWCC is the home of the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair, scheduled for Aug. 20-23.
The GWCC issued a press release noting that the center would be closed through Sunday, March 16. The men’s basketball tourney was moved to Georgia Tech University. Several events were postponed, including the Atlanta Home show, Hinman Dentral Meeting and the Red Bull Illume exhibit.
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