FLOYD | Deadly tornado reached 95 mph | News
ROME, Ga. -- The National Weather Service said the deadly EF1 tornado that slammed Floyd County Wednesday night had estimated wind speeds of 95 miles per hour.
PHOTOS | Wednesday night storm damage
The weather service said the twister touched down in Rome, then headed east, carving a 3.25 mile path of destruction parallel to Kingston Highway.
Barbara Washington, 75, passed away after her house sustained damage during the storm.
The woman's cousins, who spoke to 11Alive News Thursday morning, said trees collapsed on the home while Washington was inside. She began having chest pains and called 911, but the ambulance had trouble getting to her house in the storm.
Washington was later pronounced dead of a heart attack at a local hospital.
Five Floyd County schools were closed Thursday after storms and an EF1 tornado ripped through the area Wednesday night.
A Floyd County spokesperson told 11Alive News that damage from the storms made it too dangerous for school buses to travel along several roads Thursday. Floyd Education Center, Johnson Elementary, Model Elementary, Model Middle and Model High were all closed Thursday.
Up to 100 homes suffered damage, according to Floyd County Emergency Management Agency director Scotty Hancock. The storm uprooted trees and knocked down power lines across the county.
More than 2,000 northwest Georgia residents were left without power.
Volunteers with the Northwest Georgia Red Cross spent Thursday assessing recovery needs.
"It's the time of year when the seasons transition and severe weather becomes a real possibility," Jeffrey Putnam, Northwest Georgia chapter executive of the American Red Cross, said in a statement. "We ask that the community support us as we prepare for what could be an active severe weather season."