Thursday July 18th, 2024 7:59AM

Zeta roars through North Georgia, downing trees and power lines

By AccessWDUN Staff

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The remnants of Hurricane Zeta have moved out of Georgia, but not before leaving hundreds of downed trees and putting nearly a million Georgians in the dark.

One person has died in Georgia as a result of the storm. Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says a large oak tree uprooted and fell through the corner of a mobile home, killing a man in Acworth. Two other adults and a child were in the home at the time of the incident but weren't injured.

In Gwinnett County, firefighters rescued a man who was trapped after a tree fell on his house in the 1100 block of Smoke Hill Lane in Hoschton. The man was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The house was heavily damaged.

Interstate 985 southbound near the junction with Interstate 85 remained closed at 9 a.m. after a tree fell across the roadway. No estimate was given on when the interstate would reopen.

A wind gust of 46 mph was recorded at around 5 a.m. at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville. Strong winds are still likely over the next few hours, and a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for much of North Georgia.

In Gainesville, police urged residents to stay at home for now as law enforcement deals with multiple road closures due to downed trees and power lines. Officials urged drivers who come upon intersections where the traffic signals are out to treat them as four-way stops.

Nearly a million Georgians were without power Thursday morning, including 613,000 Georgia Power customers and 364,000 Georgia EMC customers. About 12,000 people were without power in Gainesville, and Georgia Power had no estimate for when it would be restored.

At 7 a.m., Jackson EMC reported 50,744 customers without power; an update at 3 p.m. stated that this number was down to roughly 13,000 customers. Habersham EMC reported 20,000 meters without service. Sawnee EMC had 55,146 customers with no service, just over 30 percent of all customers in the seven-county area.

In Forsyth County, the sheriff’s office Facebook page lists more than 70 intersections that have downed trees or power lines. The department has brought in 40 extra deputies to work the roads.

In Lumpkin County, the sheriff’s office is telling residents to stay off the roads so emergency personnel can clear them safely. The county didn’t have an exact number of roads affected, but it said the lists includes state routes as well as county roads.

In Gwinnett, officials are on the scene of more than a dozen roads where trees and power lines are down. Fire crews responded to over 175 calls for service between 4-8:30 a.m.

In Habersham County, winds toppled a canopy at a Baldwin gas station. More than a dozen roads remain closed by downed power lines or trees tangled in lines. Several homes have been struck by falling trees, but no injures have been reported.

Ongoing responses to calls of trees on homes, with no reported injuries so far.

Tropical Storm Zeta raged onshore Wednesday afternoon in Louisiana as a strong Category 2 and then moved swiftly across the New Orleans area and into neighboring Mississippi, bringing with it both fierce winds and storm surge. Nearly 2 million customers were without power across several southern states before dawn Thursday as the storm raced through the region.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Power Outages, tropical storm , Tropical Storm Zeta, fallen trees , storm death
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