Debris lies on yard after a tornado moved through Adairsville, Ga. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. A fierce storm system that roared across northwest Georgia has left at least one person dead and a trail of damage that included demolished buildings in downtown Adairsville and vehicles overturned on Interstate 75 northwest of Atlanta. A tornado touched down in Adairsville, and authorities confirmed that at least one person was killed in the town about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
ADAIRSVILLE — Authorities believe a tornado swelled to 900 yards wide -- more than four times the width of the Georgia Dome -- and as it tore across northwest Georgia for nearly 22 miles.
National Weather Service officials say the Wednesday twister had an estimated peak wind speed of 160 mph when it slammed into Adairsville, about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Crews that toured the destruction Thursday rated the tornado, which destroyed more than 60 buildings in Bartow and Gordon counties, as a strong EF3 twister.
The heaviest damage was found at the Daiki Corp. manufacturing plant in Adairsville, where the 160 mph winds struck. That is just shy of an EF4 tornado, which has winds of 166 mph and above.
The tornado killed an Adairsville man and injured 17 people.