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Hall gets rain, but no tornadoes Sunday

POSTED: May 23, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Thunderstorms passed through Hall County early Sunday morning, bringing more than an inch of rain to the area.

Although the storm system plagued the central and southern parts of the state with at least six tornadoes before 8 a.m. Sunday, Hall County received only rain.

According to Matt Sena, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, high winds gusted up to 40 mph throughout the day in Hall County, with a wind advisory in effect until midnight Sunday. He said today will also be windy, and the next round of rain could come through the county on Wednesday or Thursday.

Hall County Fire Capt. Scott Cagle said the department received eight reports of fallen trees or power lines due to high winds Sunday afternoon, and some Georgia Power customers lost electricity as a result.

"The brunt of the storm went south to us, but we did get some beneficial rain from it," Cagle said. "We didn’t have to activate the Emergency Operations Center, so we were pretty lucky."

Sena said one person died and another was critically injured in a tornado that hit Laurens County at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Sena said Sunday’s first confirmed tornadoes touched down in Carroll and Douglas counties at about 4 a.m. Tornadoes spanning Clayton, Rockdale, Newton, Henry, Bibb, Twiggs and Toombs counties followed.

Gov. Sonny Perdue signed an executive order Sunday afternoon declaring a state of emergency in six counties affected by the storms — Bibb, Carroll, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson and Laurens. It allows state resources to be available for response and recovery activities.

"There was a lot of trees snapped or uprooted. Some houses sustained major damage," Sena said of the damage in the central and southern parts of the state. "And quite a few houses had minor damage, like shingles blown off the roof."

Cagle said there had been no major weather-related injuries reported in Hall County as of late Sunday night.

Sena said heavy rain fell before dawn Sunday, totaling 1.13 inches at the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

"It’s not going to cause a huge rise on a lake the size of Lake Lanier," Sena said. "But every little bit helps."



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