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Friday February 12th, 2016 9:08AM

Tornado confirmed in Spalding County; rain pushes Lake Lanier up 1+ feet

By The Associated Press
GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) -- National Weather Service officials say about 200 trees were either snapped or uprooted during an EF1 tornado in Spalding County - and the rains that fell in northeast Georgia Sunday night and Monday pushed the level of Lake Lanier up more than a foot.

Meteorologist Laura Belanger says a tornado packing winds of about 95 mph touched down in a pasture about eight miles outside Griffin on Monday.

Belanger says one house was severely damaged by a falling tree, and more than a dozen other homes sustained minor roof damage. She says the tornado was on the ground for about two minutes, and traveled along a northeastern path for just less than a mile.

Belanger says three people involved in a crash during the tornado were hospitalized. However, it's unclear if a tree fell on the car or if their vehicle hit a downed tree.

Meanwhile, the weather service has issued reports on rainfall Monday across north and central Georgia. They include 2.41 inches in Blairsvile, 2.65 in Athens, 3.29 in Atlanta, 3.52 in Habersham County, 3.66 in Gainesville, 4.11 in Dahlonega, 4.37 Carrollton and 4.52 Columbus. Elsewhere, according to weather observer Bill Kinsland, WRWH reports 3.70 inches in Cleveland and the U.S. Geological Survey recorded 3.67 inches in Helen.

With all that rain across the Chattahoochee River Basin, the level of Lake Lanier rose 1.36 feet between mid-morning Sunday and mid-morning Tuesday. The reading at 9:15 Tuesday morning was 1071.85.

(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)
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