111 Chattahoochee River visitors helped to safety during storms

More than 100 people were brought to safety.
More than 100 people were brought to safety.

More than 100 people were brought to safety Saturday evening after a strong thunderstorm left them stranded on the Chattahoochee River, officials said.

During the two-hour operation, Gwinnett County and Johns Creek fire crews tended to 111 river visitors who were caught in the massive storm, according to Gwinnett department spokesman Lt. Justin Wilson.

Gwinnett County firefighters were sent to the river near Abbotts Bridge shortly before 5 p.m. after multiple people were reported stranded, Wilson said.

Wilson said the group was a part of a tubing company tour that was spending the day on the river. The storm caused the water conditions to become turbulent, he said.

Gwinnett and Johns Creek first responders converged on the river to try to help the visitors, Wilson said. Crews aided a large group of people that had taken shelter directly under Abbotts Bridge, he said.

“Crews were under the bridge at the height of the storm and were getting people out of the water and onto the riverbank,” he said. “The imminent threat posed by the lightning and wind made it impossible for the large group of people to stay under the bridge.”

The people who were rescued were taken to a staging area nearby. No injuries were reported.

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The incident happened Thursday night near the Chattahoochee Chase condos. Police shot and killed 37-year-old Martin Humberto Sanchez Fregoso after he carjacked a driver and shot at police.

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