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Winds, rain lash county at rush hour
Storm damage not as bad as in other counties
tree
A Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy diverts traffic Monday after storms toppled a tree across Hwy. 9. - photo by Jared Putnam

Creekview at South Forsyth

By: Jim Dean

It appears Forsyth fared better than other metro Atlanta counties when severe weather struck Monday afternoon.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the department responded to 12 incidents from 5 to 8 p.m.

The storm struck at rush hour and the county's outdoor weather sirens, used to signal a tornado warning, sounded just after 5 p.m.

"The storm front moved through rather quickly and, fortunately for Forsyth County, did very little damage as compared to some of our neighbors," Shivers said.

"We did not respond to any reports of damaged homes or businesses, and our call volume was lower than typical for spring storms. However, this was a great reminder to all of us of the power and unpredictability of the changing of the seasons."

Shivers said the department handled five reports of downed power lines, one wreck, three medical emergencies and three fire alarms during the storm.

"We encourage everyone to review their family or business storm preparedness steps and to always heed the warnings issued by officials as severe weather approaches the area," Shivers said.

Jodi Gardner, county government spokeswoman, said county roads and bridges crews were called in at 5:30 p.m. to field reports of fallen trees on roads.
Crews removed nine trees, she said.

Traffic snarled about 5:15 p.m. after a large tree fell across Hwy. 9 near North Old Atlanta Road.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Tim House said deputies diverted traffic to Ronald Reagan Boulevard until the road was cleared. No wrecks involving serious injuries were reported.

House agreed the county had been fortunate that the storm moved quickly and did not cause similar damage experienced in neighboring areas.

Blake House, spokesman for Sawnee EMC,  said the storm affected about 2,000 of the utility's accounts in the area.

"Of course, it came through very quickly," he said. "But it did have a lot of straight-line winds and it did cause some damage with fallen trees and debris and everything else.

"We had a few outages, we lost a couple of circuits, but it didn't last long. That was the good thing."

House said a circuit in south Forsyth and one in north Forsyth went out, but both were restored in about an hour.

He explained that circuits serve 600 to 1,000 customers in a general area.

To ensure a strong response, House said employees were held at work until the storm had passed.

Jeff Wilson, spokesman for Georgia Power, said about 17 customers in the Matt community lost power. At the peak of the storm, service was disrupted to about 6,000 customers in northern Fulton County.