Heavy rain, thunderstorms mark Severe Weather Week

By Ed Brock

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Clayton County was marked by serious thunderstorms that may have contributed to the collapse of the roof of a Forest Park business.

Around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday part of the roof collapsed at the SP Recycling Corp. building on Frontage Road as heavy rains passed through the area. On Thursday engineers were checking on the exact cause, SP Recycling President Thomas Hahn said.

"We're concerned that there may have been damage to one of the columns (holding up the roof)," Hahn said.

Hahn said the roof appeared to be "light weight" and able to support only its own weight, so the extra weight of rain water may have contributed to the collapse.

One night-shift employee suffered minor injuries to her leg in the collapse.

Saturday is the last day of Severe Weather Awareness week, a statewide event intended to encourage residents to be alert to and prepared for stormy weather.

Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell issued a proclamation for Clayton County's observation of the week.

"We urge all citizens in Clayton County to take the time to review their family safety plans and to make sure they have a disaster supplies kit on hand in the event of severe weather," Bell said in a statement.

Also during the week families are encouraged to review their plans for what to do in the first 72 hours of a disaster or weather-related event. Bell said each household should have a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio that issues immediate severe weather alerts.

Businesses and individuals participated in a tornado drill on Wednesday.