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Storm has mild impact in region
1.68 inches of rain fell overnight
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The storm that blew through the Gainesville-Hall County area on Christmas night may have sounded fierce, but its impact was minimal.

“We actually stayed up a while and watched it because of the forecast, but we skated through in good shape,” said David Kimbrell, Hall County fire chief and director of emergency services.

He said there were no reports of downed trees or other problems typical of storms with high winds.

The storms that swept across Georgia early Wednesday were part of a large weather system that dumped snow and sleet on the nation’s midsection and unleashed damaging tornadoes in Alabama.

Georgia Power said there were a number of outages off and on throughout the day, but by late afternoon Wednesday, about 500 homes in the Clayton area were all that remained without power in northeast Georgia.

Statewide, Georgia Power had about 10,000 homes without power Wednesday morning, but that was down to 5,000 by noon. By late afternoon, the number without power was in the 3,000 to 5,000 range.

Jackson Electric Membership Corp. reported only scattered outages.

“The maximum, at 10 to 11 a.m., was 60 customers (without power) in the entire Gainesville district,” said Jackson EMC spokeswoman Bonnie Jones, “and that was due to the wind.”

Gusts of up to 33 mph were recorded Wednesday at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport. Sustained winds were as high as 22 mph. Overnight gusts were clocked as high as 23 mph, with sustained winds at 16 mph.

State Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Crystal Paulk-Buchanan said the department continues to monitor strong winds, though she said there have been no tornado warnings anywhere in the state.

A total of 1.68 inches of rain was recorded at the Gainesville airport from 9:53 p.m. Tuesday to 6:53 a.m. Wednesday.

Today and Friday are expected to be mostly sunny, according to the National Weather Service at Peachtree City. A chance of showers returns on Friday at 20 percent during the day but building to 60 percent that night.

Highs are expected to be in the high 40s to low 50s, with lows in the low 30s, except for a surge to the upper 30s on Friday night.

The Weather Service reported a 30 percent chance of snow showers for higher elevations in Northeast Georgia on Wednesday night. Total accumulation was predicted to be less than half an inch.

Associated Press contributed to this report.