By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Storms lash county
Lightning, falling trees cause problems
storms 6 jd
Firefighter Lauren McDonald works to clear a tangle of branches along Bettis-Tribble Gap Road. - photo by Jim Dean

Powerful thunderstorms kept public safety officials scrambling Wednesday night.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said about three waves of storms rolled through, with firefighters steadily working for about five hours.

"Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. all 12 Forsyth County Fire engine companies and both of our ladder companies were engaged in structural firefighting operations," Shivers said. "There were no reserves. We had no backup companies available."’

Shivers said fire departments in neighboring jurisdictions were unable to provide help because of storms in their areas.

"The most fortunate part of all this is that there were no reported injuries due to the storm damage," said Shivers, adding that no calls went unanswered.

He said from 6 to 11 p.m. firefighters responded to several reports, including five residential fires and two incidents of storm damage from trees falling on homes.

During that time frame there were also 10 reports of downed power lines across roads and four lightning strikes that did not result in fire.

Shivers said fire officials think the residential blazes were lightning related.

Jeff Wilson, spokesman for Georgia Power, said about 765 of the company’s customers in Forsyth County lost power during the storms. Service was restored to all by 3 a.m.

Sawnee EMC spokesman Blake House said several trees blew over onto power lines.

At the height of the storm, about 4,000 local customers found themselves in the dark. He said most of the power was restored by midnight.

"We had people working through the night until everybody was back on," House said.