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Strong storms fell trees, knock out power in North Ga.

POSTED: June 13, 2013 11:53 p.m.

A strong line of thunderstorms that moved through Northeast Georgia on Thursday evening left about 8,000 homes without power.

Almost a half-inch of rain was recorded at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

Georgia Power and Jackson Electric Membership Corp. each reported about 4,000 customers were without power in the northeastern part of the state.

About 1,700 Gainesville customers of Georgia Power lost electricity a little after 6 p.m. when the storms started rolling through the area, spokesman Brian Green said.

He said the 4,000 without power also included about 2,000 in the Athens area and 800 in Winder.

“We have crews ready to roll,” Green said.

Jackson EMC reported 1,449 Hall County customers had lost power in Flowery Branch, West Hall in the area of Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway and North Hall in the area of Clarks Bridge Road.

Jackson customers without power included 653 in Jackson County, 392 in Lumpkin County and 1,653 in Clarke County. The Jackson County outages were concentrated from Jefferson west in the Ga. 11 and Ga. 124 areas, spokeswoman Bonnie Jones said. The Lumpkin outages were in the south portion of the county around Old Dawsonville Highway, and the Clarke County interruptions were in the Tallassee Road and Commerce Road areas, she said.

There were also scattered outages in Barrow and Gwinnett counties.

“Damage has been caused by high winds, downed trees and tree limbs, and lightning,” Jones said.

She said Jackson EMC crews were working to restore power as quickly as possible.

By about 11 p.m., less than 1,000 Jackson EMC customers remained without power, Jones said.

The largest concentration is in south Lumpkin County and north Hall where 392 customers are still without power. Fallen trees have pulled down power lines, and there is a broken power pole on Clarks Bridge Road.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said a number of trees were down across the county, but none appeared to be blocking major thoroughfares and the public works department was working to remove them.

A tree fell on a vehicle on Nopone Road, said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, sheriff’s office spokesman. There were no injuries, the Georgia State Patrol said, and the vehicle was towed from the North Hall Park area.

Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, Gainesville Police Department spokesman, said the city had no reports of downed trees or other storm-related damage.

Elsewhere in the state, Georgia Power officials said severe thunderstorms had left nearly 162,000 customers without power.Severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect throughout much of north and middle Georgia as the storm dumped heavy rain and lit up the night sky with lightning. Severe thunderstorm warnings were expected to expire early this morning.

There were multiple reports of downed trees throughout north Georgia. National Weather Service forecasters said falling trees left two people with injuries that were not life threatening in Canton, and the agency would likely send officials there today to determine if a tornado touched down.


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