published Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

North Georgia assesses damage, prepares for next wave of storms

Early morning storms in northwest Georgia caused widespread damage in many counties, as huge trees toppled across powerlines and onto houses. No injuries were reported to the National Weather Service.

Dade and Gordon counties saw “pretty significant” damage, according to forecaster Kent Frantz.

Dade County Elementary School was damaged, among other significant damage, Frantz said.

In Calhoun, a roof was blown off a law office across the courthouse, according to Christy Nickelson, with the Emergency Management Agency.

“There may be the possibility of a tornado touchdown, but we won't be able to assess it until tomorrow,” Frantz said. “Right now we are focusing on the next round of storms.”

Whitfield, Murray, Catoosa and Walker counties all reported fallen trees and minor damage.

In Sugar Valley, in northwestern Gordon County, the storm uprooted huge oak and pine trees, with rows of them laid over like dominoes. Snapped-off trunks jutted into the blue sky, dotted with a few clouds.

Small branches and strewn green leaves covered many of the roads in the area.

Lamar Brown picked up dozens of branches scattered across a cemetery next to the Hall Memorial Baptist Church. His white beard blew in the wind as he carefully gathered the debris from the graves.

A caretaker at the church, Brown said he had just arrived to do some repair work at the church when the storm hit.

“It came a monsoon,” Brown said. “Raining so hard, I couldn't see a few feet in front of me. And the trees were bending across the power lines.”

The storm tore vinyl siding from the roof, but left the church otherwise undamaged.

Crews and trucks from various utility companies clogged the roads in many counties as crews worked to restore power.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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