As Tropical Storm Irma worked its way through Gwinnett County on Monday afternoon, authorities responded to dozens of calls about downed trees and wires; tens of thousands of people were left without power; and at least two people had to be rescued from their homes.
“As of 5:10 p.m., we've posted about 120 tweets updating our community about wires down, trees Down, and traffic laws,” Gwinnett County police Cpl. Michele Pihera said. “Each time the [computer dispatch] system is refreshed, several more calls appear in the feed.”
Between about 1 and 3 p.m., the police department indeed tweeted the locations of nearly 50 downed trees or wires that had been reported. It proceeded to tweet out at least that many in the hours that followed — and was still going.
At 5 p.m., about 17,000 Georgia Power customers in Gwinnett were without power. Another 31,000 or so Gwinnett-based Walton EMC customers lacked power too.
The Gwinnett County fire department reported at least five trees had fallen on homes. That number included an early afternoon incident on Athens Highway in Loganville, where firefighters had to extricate a man from his mobile home after a tree fell on it.
“Crews arrived to find an adult male still inside the mobile home with his legs pinned by a tree,” Capt. Tommy Rutledge said in a news release.
Rescuers had to use airbag to get the man out and transport him to Eastside Medical Center in Snellville. His injuries were considered non-life threatening.
Another woman had to be pulled from the living room of her home on Abington Lane near Snellville, where a tree had crashed through the roof and trapped her among the debris.
Irma, which began Monday as a hurricane but was downgraded around 8 a.m., was expected to bring strong wind gusts and 3 to 5 inches of rain to Gwinnett and metro Atlanta throughout Monday and into Tuesday morning. Possible threats included flooding and tornadoes.
On Monday afternoon, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz tweeted that 62 mph winds had been recorded in Berkeley Lake.
Below is a sampling of incidents reported by Gwinnett County officials. Included calls may no longer be active and the list is not exhaustive.
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