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Storms knock out power to thousands in Georgia

ATLANTA — Strong storms swept across Georgia early Wednesday, part of a large weather system that dumped snow and sleet on the nation's midsection and unleashed damaging tornadoes in Alabama.

About 5,400 customers were without power statewide, Georgia Power officials said early Wednesday. About 1,700 of them were in metro Atlanta.

Christmas Day forecasts included the chance of tornadoes in metro Atlanta, but the line of thunderstorms passed the city overnight with no widespread damage or injuries reported.

However, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City warned that high winds expected to blast much of the state throughout the day Wednesday could toppled trees already weakened by the storms.

The weather service issued a wind advisory for north and central Georgia through 10 p.m. Wednesday. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph were expected.

In Atlanta, the world's busiest airport was operating normally Wednesday morning, after the storms passed, said Myrna White, a spokeswoman at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The airport's website showed a handful of cancelled flights from cities hard-hit by snow, including a pair of Delta flights that were to have arrived in Atlanta from Indianapolis on Wednesday.