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Storm rips roof off of mobile home

Occupants had sought safer shelter before storm hit

POSTED: April 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Friday's storm, which brought heavy rains, strong winds and lightning, blew a tree into the home of Joe Franklin on Wildwood Circle.

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A line of strong storms that moved across Hall County at about 8 p.m. ripped the roof off a mobile home on Clarks Bridge Road and knocked down trees in several areas.

Capt. Scott Cagle, the Hall County fire marshal, said a woman and small child who lived in the mobile home were safe because they left the home when they learned severe weather was approaching. The two went to ride out the storm with a relative who lived in a more secure home, Cagle said. When the worst of the storm had passed, the two returned to their mobile home and discovered the damage. The decision to leave could have saved them from serious injury, Cagle said.

"That’s part of the preparedness we teach is to leave and go someplace safer if you live in a mobile home," Cagle said. "They did that this evening, and it worked."

He said the two denied help from the Red Cross and were staying with their relative.

The Wildwood Circle home of Joe Franklin, just off Limestone Parkway near Clarks Bridge Road, also sustained damage in the storm. Franklin said he heard the tree hit his home at about 8:30 p.m. He had been watching the approaching line of storms on radar via television reports and had thought the storms were going south of Atlanta — until it hit.

"We’ve had some strong winds and you could hear it falling over," he said. Franklin, who is recovering from back surgery, said he wasn’t sure how much damage his home has sustained. He attributed the downed tree to a downburst or other strong wind.

"It was just a weird feeling," he said of the wind.

Cagle said calls began coming into the 911 center at about 8:10 p.m. concerning downed trees and power lines. At 10:30 p.m., crews from two fire stations still were working to clear trees in the Wahoo Creek Bridge area on Mount Vernon Road. Some of the trees fell on a vehicle, Cagle said, but it wasn’t occupied at the time.

As of 10:30 Friday night, the Hall County sheriff’s department was working a number of accidents and scattered calls still were coming in, Cagle said. He also said there were some reports of trees on fire from lightning strikes, but no house fires had been reported.



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