Storms zap power to thousands in area

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County firefighters typically respond to about 200 incidents in any given 24-hour period. During strong thunderstorms across the metro Atlanta area Wednesday, they responded to 124 calls in a 90 minute period.

The incidents, department spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said, ranged from vehicle injury accidents, live wires down, possible fires due to lightning and "alarm activated" calls.

"According to 911 operators, there were 535 calls per hour coming in to the 911 center at the height of the storm," Rutledge said.

A pair of trees down on homes marked the evening's most significant incidents.

A tree fell through the roof of a home on the 3000 block of Dowry Drive in Lawrenceville. An adult female home at the time was not injured, Rutledge said.

Another tree damaged a townhome on the 3000 block of Sloping Terrace in Snellville, displacing the occupants, Rutledge said. No injuries were reported.

The thunderstorms knocked out power to nearly 100,000 customers in the Atlanta area Wednesday evening, officials said, with parts of Gwinnett County hit hard.

Georgia Power officials said customers who lost power were scattered throughout the metro region, but added that the Duluth and Lawrenceville areas were hit hard, with thousands of customers in those communities losing power for a time.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.