Image: Man helps to clear trees off a friend's house in Rome, Georgia
Tami Chappell  /  Reuters
Jeff Youngblood helps clear trees off a friend's house Friday after a storm in Rome, Ga., overnight. A possible tornado caused the damage and caused minor injuries to seven people.
updated 12/23/2011 9:22:00 AM ET 2011-12-23T14:22:00

At least seven people were injured in northern Georgia as powerful storms roared across the area, damaging homes, downing trees and knocking out power to thousands.

A survey team planned to visit Gordon County on Friday to determine whether a tornado was responsible for damage Thursday to homes near Calhoun, said Robert Garcia, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga.

"We've received reports that we had some major structural damage reported in southern Gordon County with at least one home destroyed and several damaged," Garcia said.

One home was blown off its foundation and the family inside was tossed into the yard.

"The house started shaking and then we started moving, and I said, 'Here we go,'" Davison Sheriff told Atlanta station WSB-TV.

His pregnant wife, Ashley, said her husband clung to her and their 1-year-old son with a bear hug as they rolled through their yard.

"He definitely saved our lives, him and God, that's for sure," she told WSB. "It shows you that you are not guaranteed tomorrow."

In Rome, about 20 miles southwest of the Calhoun area, high winds tore the roof off a building at Shorter University, the Rome News-Tribune reported.

Georgia Power estimated more than 19,000 customers lost electricity Thursday evening, with about two-thirds of them in the Rome area.

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