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Winds bring down trees, power lines

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Thousands, in the metro area, were left without power early Wednesday as a result of high winds, fallen trees and downed power lines, according to officials.

With wind gusts of more than 35 miles per hour, and sustained winds above 20 miles per hour, trees and power lines fell in several areas, according to Robert Beasley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

By 5 a.m., Wednesday, the Henry County Fire Department had received multiple calls about fallen trees in the Stockbridge area, said Henry County Fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett.

Two trees fell across power lines, one fell across a roadway, and one fell on an automobile, Puckett said.

"No injuries were reported," she added. "We did have a tree to fall on a car [in the parking lot of the Popeyes restaurant in Stockbridge], but there was no entrapment, and there were no injuries."

The fallen trees and tree limbs were the cause of most of the area's power outages Wednesday morning, said Georgia Power Spokeswoman Carol Boatright.

Most of Georgia Power's outages were concentrated along the Walt Stephens Road corridor between Henry and Clayton counties, according to Boatright.

She said the outages began around 3:30 a.m., leaving some 3,300 customers temporarily without power in Henry County. About 2,200 customers were without power in Clayton County.

By Wednesday afternoon, only 300 customers remained without power, added Boatright, most of them residing in Clayton County.

She advises residents to be mindful, and keep a look out for fallen power lines.

"Be sure, not only to look for lines," Boatright said, "but be careful there is not a line on, or under any tree limbs, when you go out to clean your yard and begin to move limbs."

Puckett said residents should always be extra cautious when they are around fallen trees, particularly around power lines.

"Stay clear of downed trees, and assume that all power lines are hot," she said.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Beasley said the worst of the winds associated with the recent warm front typically die down with the sunset.

Beasley said today's forecast calls for breezy-but-diminished winds.

Today will also be noticeably cooler than Wednesday, he added, with highs in the mid-to-upper 40s. Wednesday's area highs averaged in the mid-to-upper 60s.

"We do have a colder air mass just on our door steps," said Beasley, late Wednesday. "That air mass will be spreading out over us overnight tonight."