Posted: Wednesday, March 6th 2013 at 7:40am
Storm damages homes, whips up wind across Georgia
By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- Forecasters are warning of high winds with gusts of up to 40 mph across Georgia, part of a winter storm system that damaged several homes northwest of Atlanta and brought snow and ice to parts of the north Georgia mountains.
It's the second time in less than a week that some north Georgians have awakened to a blanket of snow but this time it extends as far south as Gainesville where a light dusting occurred.
High winds damaged several homes near the Calhoun Premium Outlets along Interstate 75 in Gordon County around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Gordon County Chief Deputy Sheriff Robert Paris said.
About 10 homes appeared to be damaged, including one that housed an in-home daycare, Gordon County Emergency Management Agency Director Richard Cooper told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. No injuries were reported.
Randall James said his two-car garage and a backyard shed were destroyed by the Gordon County storm. James, who was at work when the storms hit, said his wife grabbed their kids and their pregnant dog and headed for shelter.
"As soon as she heard it, she hollered, `Get in the hallway,'" Jones said. "And we have a female yorkie that's pregnant. She grabbed her up and went to praying."
Downed trees were also reported in Jackson and Cherokee counties and in several parts of metro Atlanta. In White County, Helen Police Chief Jim Couch reported an early morning power outage and provided a picture of downed tree in the city. River Street and Unicoi Street were closed into the lunch hour; power also was restored close to noon.
The strong winds, expected to continue all day Wednesday, were producing wind chills in the teens in the early morning hours. The top early morning wind gust at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville was 32 miles-an-hour.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory for most of the state through 7 p.m. Wednesday. The advisory covers all of north and central Georgia and much of south Georgia.
The weather service warns that sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph with stronger gusts could topple some trees. Also, driving high-profile vehicles could be hazardous.
(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)
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