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Saturday storms bring heavy rains, scattered damage

Today should be clear and nice, but rain returns Monday

POSTED: January 11, 2014 11:47 p.m.

Heavy storms moved through Northeast Georgia on Saturday morning, bringing heavy rain but little damage to end a week that began with snow, ice and subzero wind chills.

Area residents awoke to the sound of thunder and tornado sirens as a strong line of storms moved through the area. About a quarter-inch of rain fell late Friday night, with another 1.38 inches recorded from midnight through noon at the National Weather Service recording station at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

No tornados were reported in the area despite the warnings. Hall County Fire Services reported a few incidents of damage during the storm, mostly in North Hall, with a few trees and power lines down but no structural damage or injuries.

A fallen tree in a neighborhood of U.S. 129 north of Gainesville took out power lines. One house was reported to be struck by lightning but with no serious damage.

There also were a few vehicle accidents during the storm, Fire Marshal Capt. Scott Cagle reported.

Saturday’s high temperature of 60 degrees was more than 50 degrees warmer than the single-digit temps from Tuesday morning.

The rain kept Lake Lanier more than a foot above full winter pool at 1,071.05 feet above sea level.

Today should be pleasant, with clear skies and highs in the mid-50s. A chance of rain will return Monday to greet the work week. Temperatures should be seasonal, with daytime highs in the low 50s and overnight lows in the upper 30s, then getting colder later in the week.

In metro Atlanta, fire crews freed a 14-year-old girl from a mobile home Saturday morning after a tree crashed into a back bedroom, piercing the roof and smashing into the floor of the home in southern Cherokee County. She was taken to a hospital in serious condition, they said.

“It was a delicate situation because the tree had gone through the roof, actually had gone through the flooring of the mobile home and the 14-year-old was trapped between the tree and the flooring that had already been knocked away,” Cherokee County Fire Department spokesman Tim Cavender told reporters. “A limb on the tree actually went through the floor which made the floor unstable.

“She was conscious and alert, talking to some of the paramedics so we hope she’s going to be doing OK.”

A 2-year-old child in the same mobile home was treated for abrasions and seemed to be doing fine, he said.

Statewide, Georgia Power reported that more than 10,000 customers were without power Saturday morning. More than 2,000 of those were in Rabun County, the rest scattered throughout north Georgia.

Jackson EMC reported no outage problems in the area.

The storms prompted at least one tornado warning north of Atlanta, though there were no immediate reports of any confirmed twisters from the storms.

Flash flood warnings were also issued for DeKalb County and central Fulton County.

Associated Press reports contributed to this story.



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