Ice upstages snow show
by Nikki Wiley
February 13, 2014 03:00 AM | 5139 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Repair crews wait for the word to be given to hit the roads early Wednesday morning while parked at Six Flags' White Water Park on U.S. 41 in Marietta. Staff/Jeff Stanton
Repair crews wait for the word to be given to hit the roads early Wednesday morning while parked at Six Flags' White Water Park on U.S. 41 in Marietta. Staff/Jeff Stanton
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Repair crews wait for the word to be given to hit the roads of Cobb County in the event of downed power lines and trees. The trucks were parked at Six Flags'White Water Park on U.S. 41. Staff/Jeff Stanton
Repair crews wait for the word to be given to hit the roads of Cobb County in the event of downed power lines and trees. The trucks were parked at Six Flags'White Water Park on U.S. 41. Staff/Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — Cobb dodged catastrophic power outages Wednesday morning but power providers cautioned the worst of the winter storm may not be over.

Residents across the county awoke to snow on the ground and freezing rain falling from the skies, but many who prepared for the worst found their lights still on.

Wednesday morning Cobb Electric Membership Corp. reported 93 outages. The Marietta Board of Lights and Water had three outages caused by a falling pine tree. There were 848 Georgia Power customers without power in Cobb but 110,000 across the state.

Those numbers were increasing rapidly as crews responded to outages and restored power only to be met with downed lines in another area.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service had predicted as many as half a million people could lose power during the ice storm.

Though the impact in Cobb seemed to be less severe than forecast, Amy Fink, spokeswoman for Georgia Power, said the storm took a greater toll than expected in other areas of the state.

“It seems like the storm actually moved more toward the east area so the (Interstate) 20 line going toward Augusta, that really seems to be the area that has been affected the most,” Fink said.

Icy falling trees kept Cobb Fire busy Wednesday. Firefighters responded to six reports of trees on power lines as of midmorning, said Denell Boyd, spokeswoman, and had 12 crews equipped with chainsaws ready to move trees out of roadways.

One tree fell on a house on Shallowford Road near Blackwell Road in east Cobb but no injuries were reported.

One person was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital following a fire on Knightsbridge Road in Kennesaw near Old Highway 41 that was initially thought to be caused by a candle.

Freezing rain, sleet and snow slowed midmorning on Wednesday but more was predicted to fall as the day continued. Snow and sleet accumulation of up to 4 inches was forecast by the weather service.

“With any luck this will hold out and we’ll miss a big bullet,” said Tom Bell, power director for the Marietta BLW.

There’s no way to estimate how many power outages could be seen as the storm continues, Fink said.

“There’s really no way to predict because a lot of the outages we are experiencing are due to ice on tree limbs that then down our lines, so there’s no way to predict the trees that are going to fall,” Fink said.

Wind gusts of up to 25 mph increased the chances that ice-coated trees and limbs could fall on homes, cars and power lines.

Kevan Espy, vice president of marketing and communications at Cobb EMC, asked customers be patient if power outages do occur.

“Be patient,” Espy said. “We’ve got over 300 of our employees and our contract crews available.”

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