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Updated: 5:37 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2013 | Posted: 11:03 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ga. Power: All service now restored after Thursday’s storms

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By Steve Visser and Heather Vogell

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Power has been restored to all metro Atlanta homes that lost it after Thursday’s storms toppled trees and spawned two tornadoes.

By early Saturday evening, Georgia Power crews had completed round-the-clock cleanup work needed to turn the lights back on in homes across the area, said Mark Williams, a company spokesman.

Roughly 250,000 people lost power during the storms. Early Saturday, the utility reported that 3,000 homes still lacked electricity. Most were in the north metro area, especially around Sandy Springs and Johnson Ferry Road.

The severe weather brought winds of up to 110 mph to Cherokee, Cobb and Fulton counties, tearing down power lines, uprooting trees and damaging buildings in their wake, the National Weather Service said.

The Weather service said the first tornado touched down at 7 p.m. near the intersection of Patriot Trail and Rampley Trail, four miles west-northwest of Canton. The tornado lifted about 25 minutes later near the intersection of Hickory Road and New Light Road, about 5 miles south-southeast of Canton.

The second tornado touched down near the Cherokee County line along Woodhaven Drive around 7:30 p.m., and made its way southeast through Cobb County wreaking havoc near Bishop Lake Road and Wendwood Drive before jumping the Chattahoochee River near Abernathy Road and Riverside Drive in Sandy Springs, meteorologists said.

Damage from the storms also blocked several roads. The city of Sandy Springs reopened some overnight Saturday, including Dalrymple at Dunhill Terrace, Riverside Drive, Edgewater Trail, Castleton Drive (one lane of travel) and Spalding, according to spokeswoman Sharon Kraun.

The city was hoping to allow traffic again early Sunday on another four streets that were affected – at 7110 Duncourtney Drive, 7195 Dunhill Terrace, 5660 Colton Drive and 6555 Williamson Drive.

City of Brookhaven workers also continued to clean up debris dumped on roads by the storm, spokeswoman Megan Matteucci said. City public works crews removed 23 trees from roads Saturday. The city planned to do another sweep early Monday to check for any debris that remained.

Residents can expect lots of sunshine and low humidity Sunday, said Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz. He put rain chances at 20 percent on Sunday, with a 40 percent chance of showers on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Georgia Department of Transportation has rescheduled work planned this weekend on I-75/I- 85 northbound in Atlanta. The work would have closed up to three lanes and caused heavy congestion. GDOT also canceled the northbound bridge joint replacements work that was planned for Sunday because of expected Father’s Day and Braves game traffic. Instead, it performed bridge joint work southbound overnight Friday.

“With it being Father’s Day weekend and with the Braves in town, we felt it would be best to push the northbound work back,” said GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle. “We obviously can’t cancel work every time there is an event in town. We wouldn’t get any work done. But with the combination of things going on this weekend, this is the right decision.”

Also, on I-75/I-85 northbound, GDOT has canceled the weekend work to install overhead signs as well. That work will resume at 9 p.m. Sunday night with a single northbound left lane closed from I-20 to North Avenue.

On the Buford-Spring Connector northbound, one right lane is closed from Monroe Drive to the I-85 ramp and will remain closed until early September for work on the SR 400/I-85 interchange project.

Another lane will be closed on the Buford-Spring Connector northbound, also from Monroe Drive to I-85, this weekend for bridge joint work. As a result, only one lane will be open this weekend on the Buford-Spring Connector northbound. Heavy delays are expected.

On I-20 eastbound, just outside I-285 in DeKalb County, up to two lanes will be closed for paving as crews continue work on the collector-distributor lane project that will connect I-285 to Wesley Chapel Road.

Across the top end of I-285, up to three lanes will be closed in both directions for paving all weekend. Also, as part of the project there will be several ramps closed at several exits during the overnight hours.

Also on I-285, up to three lanes in both directions will be closed all weekend between Bolton Road and I-20 for concrete slab work.

On 400 at 85, various single lane closures in both directions will be in place as construction on the big interchange project continues. Delays are expected. As part of the same project, contractors will continue flagging operations on surface streets around the interchange and the HOV ramps at I-85 and Lindbergh Drive remain closed until mid-July for work on the bridge columns for the interchange.

Staff writers Mike Morris and Marcus Garner contributed to this report.

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