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Storms cause scramble
Fire destroys building, seven vehicles
ive seen fire and ive seen rain 7-8-08 jd
The Forsyth County Fire Department was busy Tuesday night responding to reports of lightning strikes and storm damage. - photo by Jim Dean

If you ask Fred Knaut, the bottom fell out Tuesday night as thunderstorms rumbled across Forsyth County.

Knaut said the rain gauge measured 3.75 inches at his home in Coal Mountain off Hwy. 369.

"It basically started about 10:30 last night and went nonstop till last I heard it was around almost 1 this morning," Knaut said Wednesday.

The National Weather Service does not have an official rainfall reporting site in Forsyth, relying instead on one in Gainesville, which recorded about a tenth of an inch of rain Tuesday.

But the stormy weather could continue, with the forecast calling for a 20 to 50 percent chance of rain each day through Sunday.

Tuesday night's storms kept the Forsyth County Fire Department busy responding to fire alarms and at least six reports of lightning strikes.

Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said no injuries were reported as a result of the storms, but three homes were damaged.

Just before midnight, firefighters responded to a fire at 5020 Karr Road in northwestern Forsyth, Shivers said.

An outbuilding that contained seven vehicles was engulfed in flames. Shivers said the building housed a 1969 Chevrolet Nova, 1967 and 1970 Chevrolet Chevelles, a 1955 Chevy, a 1948 Ford truck, a 1996 Chevrolet Impala and a Volkswagen sand buggy, all of which were destroyed.

In addition, a camper and 1973 Chevrolet truck outside the building were damaged by the fire, Shivers said. 

He said two waves of severe weather swept through the county over the course of an hour and that incidents were scattered countywide.

"All fire department companies were busy responding to alarms at various points throughout the night," he said.

Knaut said his yard flooded, which is unusual, but there wasn't any damage. He kept up with the storm by watching weather radar.

"Last Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, each night we had seven-tenths of an inch," Knaut said. "Then Monday night had nothing and then (Tuesday) night, the deluge."

Knaut, who has lived in Forsyth for about two years, said he's accustomed to regular weather watching.

"We lived in Florida before so we always had to deal with the weather with the hurricanes," he said.