A line of severe thunderstorms swept through the county Saturday afternoon, knocking out power to thousands of Cobb residents.
A recorded message on Cobb EMC’s power outage reporting line that afternoon stated “multiple outages” had been reported in the areas of Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta and Powder Springs. The message stated there was no estimated time of restoring service.
Outage maps online for Cobb EMC and Georgia Power showed thousands of Cobb residents were without power after the storm hit, with the strongest concentration of outages near the intersection of Lost Mountain Road and Dallas highway in west Cobb.
Cobb County government said several trees were felled by the storm, closing several roads and some damaging homes, but no serious injuries were reported, according to a post on the county’s public Facebook page.
“Cobb County DOT crews are working two dozen calls (with more coming in) along with Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services and are trying to clear the streets,” read the Facebook post. “Trees also went into several homes in the county but so far no serious injuries reported.”
The post listed the following affected roads:
♦ Lost Mountain Road
♦ Due West Road (and many others in West Cobb)
♦ Old Canton, Post Oak Tritt, Bill MurdockCasteel and Bishop Lake
The post went on to say several other roads were affected and urged people to drive safely. It also reminded residents a tornado watch was in effect Saturday until 9 p.m.
Not far away, Paulding County residents reported a tornado touched down about a mile and a half from the Cobb County line, according to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents of Christy Drive, which is about four miles west of McEachern High School, gathered in the street with their flashlights and rain jackets to survey the damage. Multiple trees had been knocked over on houses, on vehicles and strewn about yards and roads, but neighbors said an initial headcount showed everyone was safe and accounted for.
Tyler Mathias, who lives in Douglasville and works for a refrigeration company, was visiting friends with his 2-year-old daughter when the storm swept in.
“We were standing in the living room here and everything went black,” he said. “A tree was rubbing against the side window, so we came and looked out the front and this tree was laid across my truck, this one was in that house, we couldn’t even really see out the window, I couldn’t open the door, it was pretty crazy.”
Though his friend’s house was safe, Mathias’ truck was covered with multiple heavy tree limbs, but he said he was keeping a good attitude.
“I’m more happy that me and my baby are OK,” he said. “We were inside. That’s just material. Nobody was hurt, everybody was safe. It could have been a lot worse.”
Next door, Glenda Penney and her family looked out from their garage by flashlight. A tree was lying in their yard and a power line had fallen, but the house was in good shape.
Penney, a WellStar employee, said she was looking out the window when the trees started to fall.
“I looked out my window, my storm door, and it was raining really hard, and then all of a sudden a tree in my neighbor’s yard came down, and when it came down, it took out a power line. I saw the sparks coming off the power line, it landed on the truck, and about that time, I saw debris coming my way, so I just shut the door. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that. … I just stood there, I just called on Jesus to protect me, and he did.”
According to the National Weather Service, when there is a report of a tornado touching down, a team of investigators is sent out to file a report, which is typically available to the public 24 to 36 hours after it is created.
According to the Associated Press, the storm system has been blamed in the deaths of 11 people across several states, including two first responders, as high winds, tornadoes and unrelenting rain battered large swaths of the country.