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Weatherman gets to heed own advice during storm
Forsyth County resident Ken Cook points Wednesday to trees that fell in his yard during a recent storm. - photo by Jim Dean

CUMMING — After spending 35 years on Atlanta TV warning viewers what not to do in a storm, retired meteorologist and Forsyth County resident Ken Cook had a chance to put his own advice into practice during a recent thunderstorm.

Cook said he was at his Lake Lanier home on Sept. 3 when a strong storm blew through. 

“It’s scary,” he said. “ … It was so dark, the rain was so heavy we couldn’t see out to the dock. Stuff is blowing past the house, and I’m watching it, thinking I need to move back from the windows”.  

Cook estimated the winds to be about 75 mph.

“I watched these two trees, they just got pushed over, like in slow motion, and it snapped the top out of another one … boom…it was unbelievable,” he said..

It was the first time Cook had ever experienced a storm this strong. 

“I feel fortunate because we had an oak tree that was leaning right over the house taken down last year … because there is a good chance the wind would have pushed it right over and crushed a good part of the house,”  he said.

Chris Grimes, Forsyth’s emergency management agency deputy director, said the wind damage that day in Forsyth occurred mostly along Pilgrim Mill Road. 

“We had a lot of lightning fires, but only a few trees down outside of what we saw at Mr. Cook’s house,” Grimes said.

He also noted that September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and that residents should be ready for unexpected weather or other natural disasters. 

Grimes said that has tips on how to prepare ahead of time. He also urged anyone with a smart phone to download the Ready GA app.