Cobb escapes major damage from storm that battered Adairsville
by Noreen Cochran
January 31, 2013 12:25 AM | 4584 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jean Dean, left, and Lisa Traylor, both of Marietta, use their umbrellas as rain pelts the Marietta Square on Wednesday.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Jean Dean, left, and Lisa Traylor, both of Marietta, use their umbrellas as rain pelts the Marietta Square on Wednesday.
Staff/Emily Barnes
 A convenience store worker, middle, rummages through the rubble after a tornado struck downtown Adairsville in Bartow County.<br>Staff/Erin Gray
A convenience store worker, middle, rummages through the rubble after a tornado struck downtown Adairsville in Bartow County.
Staff/Erin Gray
MARIETTA — The storm system that walloped Bartow County with a killer tornado Wednesday blew through Cobb and left it wet but relatively unscathed.

High winds toppled a few trees and caused wrecks, but in the words of one county official, “we dodged a bullet.”

Cobb County Police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said officers were busy dealing with crashes that included a school bus accident in the Hollydale Elementary School area in west Cobb.

“There were 59 children on board but no reported injuries,” he said.

County police responded to calls on surface streets, Pierce said, and the Georgia State Patrol investigated accidents on interstates 75 and 285.

“Water and hydroplaning are factors,” he said.

Fallen trees affected traffic.

“We have a tree down at Windy Hill Road and Windy Ridge that caught a power line, causing that intersection to be closed,” Pierce said about an east Cobb location.

Officials also reported trees down in the Mableton area.

Pierce said he got some reports of water backing up from storm drains and causing flooding, but county spokesman Robert Quigley said only one incident had been called in.

“The only flooding in the county was on Vineyard Way off of Johnson Ferry Road. It was a temporary blockage, but it’s cleared now,” Quigley said. “It’s been pretty quiet.”

In Marietta, police spokesman David Baldwin said any standing water had receded by 5:30 p.m. No incidents were reported.

“We haven’t had any power outages and no trees down,” he said. “I’ve been prepared all day. We dodged a bullet. It’s just another rainy day.”

Unincorporated Cobb County had two fallen power lines, but other than that, Georgia Power, Cobb EMC and Marietta Power and Water all reported quiet days.

Georgia Power had 1,300 customers without power in the Austell area, but spokeswoman Carol Boatwright said there were 10 to 12 different causes, not necessarily the weather.

Tom Bell, electrical director of the Marietta utility, said only one customer lost power.

“We had a tree limb fall. We have that even when there are not storms, but you can call that weather-related,” he said. “We missed a bullet with this one.”

Bell said preparing for natural disasters was helpful.

“We spend our time trimming trees and maintain our system,” he said. “That pays off for us. But we can’t do anything when a whole tree falls.”

The storm, which raged from 1 to 4 p.m. and then moved on, came at the right time, Bell said.

“We’re glad it happened during the day because we had all our crews here. We had everybody tuned up and ready to go,” he said. “I hate when they’re in the middle of the night. You can’t see anything. It’s dangerous.”

Cobb EMC had no power outages, spokesman Mark Justice said.

Rainfall varied from a half inch at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to 1.5 inches at Charlie Brown Field near Six Flags.

More than 2 inches fell in Cartersville and Rome, where the weather caused more damage.

School systems followed inclement weather procedures.

Both the Cobb and Marietta school districts canceled extracurricular activities, including all meetings, practices, workouts and games.

They will resume today.

The sun will also return today, with a high of around 48. Temperatures will top out near 40 on Friday with lows in the mid-20s Friday night into Saturday morning.

“The rain will come to an end and so will our warm temperatures,” said meteorologist Tom Moore with The Weather Channel.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said even in drier weather, residents need to be careful about the storm’s aftermath.

“If you see a power line that’s down, that’s a good case for calling 911 to report that,” he said. “We always remind people that a live power line looks just like a dead power line, so stay clear. Keep children and pets away from the power line.”

Injury or even death can occur from the voltage emitted by the power lines, Kraft said, and they can be camouflaged by their surroundings.

“Power lines can be lying on chain link fences, which energize the whole fence. Power lines can be hidden in puddles or standing water and the puddle can be energized,” he said. “People may try to clear debris from a fallen tree and not realize there’s a power line there.”
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