Prepare for a tornado
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify tornado hazards. A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area; a tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
- Prepare a kit of emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, NOAA weather radio and a three-day supply of food and water.
Plan to take shelter
- If local authorities issue a tornado warning or if you see a funnel cloud, take shelter immediately.
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
- A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
- If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
- Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
Stay informed about tornadoes
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and check news outlets like gainesvilletimes.com for official news and instructions as they become available.
- After a tornado, be sure to remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines.
- Help injured or trapped people. Check on others who may require special assistance, such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.
Overnight storms caused minor damage and power outages in Hall County, and another round is forecast for later today.
Hall County Fire Services answered several calls early today of trees down on power lines. Spring Road at Newton Street was shut down while Georgia Power Co. crews worked on downed lines in the area.
Power was out this morning at Lyman Hall Elementary School, with a power line down on a school bus. Some bus routes were changed to deal with downed trees in roadways.
Georgia Power Co. reported 1,065 outages scattered across Hall County, 965 of those in an area between McEver and Browns Bridge roads, including Spring.
Bonnie Jones, spokeswoman for Jackson EMC, said the utility was responding to outages in Hall, Gwinnett and Jackson Counties since 5:30 a.m. She reported 27 outages in Hall affecting 733 customers as of 9 a.m. The Hall outages were reported at College Square (McEver and Mundy Mill roads), East Hall (East Hall Middle School, Gillsville Highway and Gaines Mill Road), Gillsville, Sandy Hill, Candler, Spout Springs, Oakwood, and Bark Camp at Sardis Road.
The most significant outages were around East Hall Middle School affecting 178 customers, with power since being restored, and 541 customers in the Gillsville Highway and Gaines Mill Road area. The other outages are mainly a single customer.
More severe weather is forecast later today. The National Weather Service says there is a chance of tornadoes with damaging winds and large hail possible.
A flood watch is in effect for most of Northeast Georgia, including Hall County, until 2 a.m. Thursday.
Widespread rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches are expected over that period across much of North Georgia. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent, with gusty winds likely.
The Hall County school system canceled field trips for today, given the weather. A decision on after-school activities for today will be made at 2 p.m.
Today’s forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, possibly severe, with one-half to three-fourths of an inch of rain. Another 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible tonight.
The chance of rain remains at 100 percent for Wednesday, with some storms possibly producing heavy rainfall. The chance of precipitation eases to 60 percent Wednesday night and 10 percent on Thursday.
Another round of severe weather is expected this afternoon and evening with continued potential, especially across North Georgia, for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, the weather service said.
A slow-moving cold front will move into far northwest Georgia on Wednesday morning and exit the area by Thursday morning, according to the weather service. This could also lead to isolated flash flooding across North Georgia.