A little before 10 p.m. on March 14, 2008, fans at the SEC Tournament were enjoying free basketball. Alabama’s Mykal Riley hit a clutch 3-pointer that sent the Crimson Tide into overtime against Mississippi State in their quarterfinal game.
That shot likely kept lots of folks inside the Georgia Dome and off the streets of downtown Atlanta, where an EF2 tornado was blasting its way past the CNN Center towards the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, following a path eastward that paralleled Decatur Street. When it finished tearing up downtown, it moved on to ravage Oakland Cemetery, the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill lofts and the Cabbagetown and East Atlanta neighborhoods, among others.
RELATED: THE ATLANTA TORNADO OF 2008 AND MORE
- Read Ken Sugiura’s report from 2011
- PHOTOS: The tornado’s path in 2008
- Which Georgia counties have recorded the most tornadoes?
- 2008 VIDEO: See live WSB Severe Weather Team 2 coverage from March 15
Along its six-mile path, the twister left a trail of broken glass, piles of bricks wrenched from buildings, injuries and one death.
It’s been 10 years since the Atlanta tornado hit, compelling the city to yet again tap into its history of resilience in the face of adversity, returning stronger and wiser.
Alabama lost in overtime to Mississippi State that night. A sub-.500, sixth-seeded Georgia Bulldogs team took the SEC men’s title, its first since 1983, as Atlanta got to work on its latest rebuild.
MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.
The AJC keeps you updated on the latest happenings in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:
- Cobb spends $6.1 million on more park acreage
- DeKalb delegation could roll back commissioners’ proposed pay hike
- Gwinnett ‘Loop Trail’ would connect Gwinnett Place, Infinite Energy Center
Never miss a minute of what's happening in Atlanta news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.