People across the Atlanta metro are cleaning up after strong storms left thousands without power Saturday, along with downed power lines and trees.

Georgia Power said 8,400 customers statewide were without power at about noon Saturday. At the height of the storm about 25,000 customers were without power.

Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt spent the morning assessing the damage in Cobb County.

Cavitt said the storms ripped through the area at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

The storm tore a hole in the roof of a former BJ’s Wholesale Club just outside Austell. Cavitt said the sheet metal from the roof was found miles away. He even found a piece of the roof lodged into the pavement of a near-by parking lot.

Also in that parking lot, Cavitt said dumpsters were tossed about by the wind and even bent sheet metal around poles.

Cavitt talked to Peggy Lynn who said her car port was torn down from the storm. She also said the strong wind was to blame for trees down in her neighborhood.

Robert Foster had a different problem from the storm. He said his house was flooded when a creek behind his home swelled.

Most of the damage appeared to be cosmetic, according to Cavitt, but he said the damage was consistent with what is normally seen with tornadoes or strong straight line winds.

In Sandy Springs, neighbors along Riverside Road said they were without power after the storm ripped down a couple of power poles in the area.

Betty Sunshine told Channel 2’s Rebecca Lindstrom, “It happened in, though, within like 15, 20 minutes, and that was it. And then, it was just raining…I mean, this is incredible,” describing the damage in her neighborhood.

Linstrom said tree removal crews were hard at work trying to clean up the area.

Gunnison Tree Specialist Andrew Pelfrey said his co-workers have been putting in long hours from the storms that have hit the Atlanta metro over the last couple of weeks.

“We worked probably 85 hours last week, and then were going to work today, probably until dark and then tomorrow till dark for sure,” Pelfrey said.

Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik spent the early morning Saturday checking out the damage across Floyd County, which appeared to be one of the hardest hit areas.

Emergency crews told Petchenik they had reports of at least 50 trees down in the county.

Charles Carter, who lives just outside Rome, told Petchenik he lost several trees in his yard from the storm, saying the storm had to be a tornado.

Another Floyd County viewer gave Channel 2 pictures of a power pole that crushed an SUV on Turner McCall Boulevard in Rome.

A mother and three children escaped the SUV with only minor injuries.

Scottie Hancock with the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency said 23 homes were damaged.

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz tracked the storm system step by step throughout the morning Saturday and kept viewers informed minute by minute.

The storm system started Friday, passing through Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi before arriving in Georgia, wreaking havoc in those areas.

Nitz followed the storm’s every move using Storm Tracker 2 HD, only the second radar of its kind in the world. The Dual-Pol Doppler identifies different types of weather occurring at varying levels in the atmosphere, differentiating between rain, hail and sleet.

“It scans a thunderstorm horizontally and vertically to give us more data from inside a storm. The depth of the data enables our team to uncover the patterns of severe weather potential before it strikes on the ground,” said Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns. Burns stressed that isolated tornadoes were possible.

A warm front will move through and a cold front will follow early Saturday morning, then Metro Atlanta will see a clearing trend Saturday afternoon with a sunny day on tap for Sunday, according to Nitz.

Temperatures on Saturday will be in the 60s and in the 70s for Sunday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *