In a scene that many witnessed described as out of a Hollywood motion picture, a suspected tornado touched down in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, last night injuring dozens.
Of the areas hardest hit was the neighborhood housing the CNN news center and the Georgia Dome. Both were bustling at the time of the as yet to be determined weather phenomenon.
CNN was in the middle of live broadcasts when the storm hit and the Georgia Dome was hosting the SEC men’s basketball championship. In the midst of March Madness, the enormous arena shook from the gale force winds whipping through downtown. The scoreboard as well as the light fixtures swung from side to side as the crowd and players below sat in disbelief and then ran for the exits.
Eventually the game was halted, then restarted – it was in overtime and this is March after all! But the second game was cancelled until experts could determine if the roof was safe. Pieces of it were seen throughout the inside of the dome.
CNN, caught off guard mirroring everyone else on the scene, responded to the story much as a local news broadcast would a tornado in the middle of Kansas. Shaken, adrenalized and unsure, the reporters covering the scene were clearly taken aback by the weather madness surrounding them.
What is so fascinating about the entire storm, is that at this point, there is no specific sign thatÂ it was a tornado. But looking around at theÂ bentÂ metal,Â traffic lights smashed on the concrete and furniture from the nearby Omni Hotel sucked out of upper floor rooms and effortlessly tossed onto the street below…the winds had to be massive.