A radar-confirmed tornado. Flooded streets. Downed trees. Toppled power lines. Plus, the normal traffic. Wednesday afternoon had all the makings of a weather disaster.
The timing was downright awful. A drizzly, dreary day turned even nastier just as rush hour was beginning in metro Atlanta. Then, as quickly as it rolled through, the worst of the storms were gone.
Although cleanup will take hours in some areas, no major injuries were reported. And the forecast for the next five days includes sunny skies and colder temperatures.
A radar-confirmed tornado was spotted late Wednesday afternoon at the Fulton-Coweta county line as a powerful round of storms moved through metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns. Two smaller tornadoes may have also rolled through DeKalb County.
Heavy rains and strong winds moved in just as many began their evening commutes, bringing down trees and power lines and flooding roads, including some of Atlanta’s busiest areas.
Two homes were damaged in Coweta County, where numerous trees were reported down. Parts of the roofs of both homes were damaged, but no injuries were reported. Trees and power lines were also down in Fairburn, in south Fulton County. Tell Road was impassable because of downed trees and lines, and trees were down on Virlyn B. Smith Road, according to the Fairburn Police Department.
“It didn’t give us no warning, no nothing,” said Jorge Rubio, explaining his family was watching TV when the house began to shake. “I wasn’t even sure it was a tornado because it was so fast.”
Mike Richardson’s home on John Rivers Road in Fairburn was damaged and six trees were down in his yard, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It felt like the Wizard of Oz,” he said. “The funnel was right outside the window. It was surreal.”
During the height of the storm, more than 9,000 Georgia Power customers were without electricity, and the majority were in the metro Atlanta area, according to the utility. That number dwindled Wednesday evening as crews worked to restore power.
At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, a temporary ground stop caused delays of 45 minutes and longer for those attempting to fly in or out of Atlanta.
But there was a bright spot, literally. The rest of the week’s forecast includes sunshine, Burns said.
Highs will be in the mid-60s Thursday and Friday, upper 50s Saturday and around 50 degrees Sunday. Morning lows will be in the low 50s Thursday, mid-40s Friday, low 40s Saturday and mid-30s Sunday.
—Photographers Ben Gray and Curtis Compton and staff writer Steve Visser contributed to this article.