ATHENS, Georgia (AP) - Like many people who lived in Athens at the time, Anne Shepherd clearly remembers March 31, 1973 - the day the tornado hit.
She and her husband drove quickly to their Best Drive house, got in the basement just minutes before the tornado brought its whirlwind of destruction at about 6:30 p.m. They looked out a window as their lawn furniture blew away, never to be seen again.
Others reported similar experiences, though some saw roofs lifted away instead of lawn furniture. No one knew the full extent of the damage until later.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that it was the second of two tornadoes in Georgia that day. Together, they destroyed 400 homes and damaged 1,784. The unusually violent F-4 tornado left behind an estimated $113 million in damage.