The damage included destroyed homes and downed trees, FOX 5 in Atlanta reported.
Several residents were reportedly injured during the storm and one man died of a heart attack.
Several posts on social media used the term “war zone” to describe the destruction.
“The city experienced heavy damage in and around the historic downtown area due to tonight’s weather,” the city’s official Twitter account posted around 1 a.m. ET. “Please note that both the city and county crews are in route and working on scene to clear impacted areas. Please remain safe in your homes and take shelter. Stay safe!”
A tornado emergency was issued by the National Weather Service in Newnan early Friday.
Newnan High School tweeted that all schools in the Coweta County School System would be closed Friday due to “extensive storm damage in many areas of our county.
Several viewers reportedly told WSB the high school suffered severe damage.
Some of the worst damage was in the neighborhoods surrounding the Newnan town square, with many trees and powerlines down, according to a WSB reporter.
“The tornado came through. We could feel it shaking the house and everything, and I could feel the rain coming down on me,” Newnan resident Heather Raider told FOX 5. She and her two children hid in the bathroom when they heard tornado sirens. She said neighbors had to help them out of their home when it was destroyed aroudn them.
The series of tornadoes hatched by early spring “super cell” storms tore across Alabama and moved into Georgia early Friday. Twisters had at least five people dead in Alabama amid ruins of wrecked homes, splintered trees and crumpled businesses.
Authorities said one fierce tornado traveled roughly 100 miles across Alabama on Thursday, leaving a long path of damage. The National Weather Service for Atlanta said a “dangerous, fast-moving” tornado ripped through some of the metro area’s southern suburbs just after midnight.
With power knocked out to tens of thousands and people now tasked with clearing away the debris and rebuilding, the violent weather that swept parts of Alabama and the region marked the most dreaded part of springtime in the Deep South: tornado season.
While Alabama appeared to bear the brunt of Thursday’s tornado outbreak, forecasters warned of dangerous thunderstorms, flash floods and possible twisters from eastern Mississippi into western Georgia, and northward into Tennessee and Kentucky. Also, flash flood warnings and watches extended to the western Carolinas during the night hours.
The deaths were confirmed in Calhoun County, in east Alabama, where one of multiple twisters sprang from a “super cell” of storms that later moved into Georgia, said John De Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham.
Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said the twister cut a diagonal path across the county, striking mostly rural areas — something that likely kept the death toll from being higher.
“Five people lost their lives and for those families, it will never be the same,” Wade said at an evening briefing. “Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go to the families, and we are going to do our best to let them know we love them.”
Further west, vast areas of Shelby County near Birmingham — the state’s biggest city — were badly damaged. Civilian drone footage posted on social media showed rooftops cleaved away from stately homes, the winds destroying some while leaving others untouched.
In addition to deaths in Alabama, Mississippi had a storm-related death on Wednesday. Ester Jarrell, 62, died in that state’s Wilkinson County when a large tree toppled over onto her mobile home after heavy rain soaked the ground, an official told AP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.