Gainesville, GA Tornado, Apr 1936
This early morning tornado was a double tornado event. One tornado moved in from the Atlanta highway, while the other moved in from the Dawsonville highway. The two merged on Grove Street and destroyed everything in sight, causing wreckage pileups of up to 10 feet in some places. The worst tornado-caused death toll in a single building in U.S. history was at the Cooper Pants Factory. The multiple story building, filled with young workers, collapsed and caught fire, killing 70 people. At the Pacolet Mill, 550 workers averted a tragedy by moving to the northeast side of the building. Many people sought refuge in Newnan's department store; however, it collapsed, killing 20 people.
The final death toll could not be calculated because many of the buildings that were hit collapsed and caught fire. A 203 person death toll was posted, with 40 missing. Letters from Gainesville, Georgia were blown 67 miles away to Anderson, South Carolina.
Articles about the deadly tornado that hit Gainesville, Georgia in April 1936.