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Storm forces those who protect to need protection | News

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Storm forces those who protect to need protection

Roughly 55 miles apart, two groups of officials managing the Labor Day storms had to take cover themselves.

In Peachtree City, the folks at the National Weather Service bureau -- the same folks sending out tornado watches and warnings for seven million Metro Atlantans -- needed to go to the bathroom.

"It's our storm shelter," said meteorologist Jason Deese. "We have a steel door that can protect against an EF3 tornado."

On Monday, the threat of a tornado came over the weather service bureau, meaning the workers had to take cover. They also had to pass their work across state lines.

"We have to transfer our duties to another office," said Deese. "In this case, it was our Birmingham office, and we transferred our duties to them before taking shelter."

The shutdown in Peachtree City lasted about 15 minutes until the threat of a tornado had passed.

Meanwhile in Cherokee County, officials had their own concerns. The county's head of emergency management, Robby Westbrook, had to take cover in its emergency operations center while the tornado passed through.

In both cases, this was a rare occurrence -- an example of a storm where those assigned to protect us needed protection themselves.