Michael leaves Atlanta with downed trees, power outages, road closures

Metro Atlanta is clear of Michael on Thursday afternoon, but storm cleanup efforts continue and several thousand are still without power.

The center of Tropical Storm Michael pushed out of Georgia about 8 a.m. and into South Carolina, leaving behind only a few showers and some gusty wind. The storm is now moving quickly toward Raleigh, N.C., and is sustaining wind speeds of 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

While the showers have dried out in Atlanta, wind is expected to be a factor for a while, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Michael brought high winds and several inches of driving rain into North Georgia. In Atlanta and Athens, winds hit 40 mph. The maximum wind gust recorded for the state was 115 mph in Donalsonville in Seminole County, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Katie Walls said.

In Fulton County, the National Weather Service confirmed that a weak EF-0 tornado touched down around 6:30 p.m. near Cascade Heights, Channel 2 reported. A tornado that strength has wind speeds between 65 and 85 mph, and it caused light damages.

MORE: What does a tornado's Enhanced Fujita rating mean?

The storm took down trees, knocked out power and disabled traffic lights across metro Atlanta. More than 400,000 people are without power throughout Georgia, including 4,000 in Fulton County.

A Georgia Power crew works to repair downed power lines on Fleetwood Drive in southeast Atlanta. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

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In northwest Atlanta, a tree fell on a vehicle on Anderson Avenue early Thursday, pinning a 31-year-old woman inside.

Firefighters cut free a 31-year-old woman who became trapped in a vehicle after a tree fell on it. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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Firefighters cut her free and she was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with internal injuries, Atlanta police said.

There are downed trees blocking roadways in several counties, and many roads are closed.

MORE: Downed trees and power outages in Atlanta

A large tree blocking West Paces Ferry Road at Andrews Drive in Fulton County is one of dozens of downed trees in metro Atlanta in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Michael. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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Wet pavement likely contributed to a deadly crash on I-20 East just before I-285 in DeKalb County, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. The crash involved seven to nine vehicles and blocked the interstate for more than six hours Thursday morning.

One person was killed. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

MORE: 1 killed in crash on I-20 in DeKalb

ALSO: Flooded roads, power outages in DeKalb

RELATED: Flooding threat remains in Gwinnett 

In Paulding County, the storm caused flooding and a part of Woodrow Kay Road near Proctor Road collapsed, according to local authorities. Gore Lakes Road off Mt. Olivet Road is also closed until further notice because of roadway damage.

The roads are shut down until repairs are completed.

As much as 6 inches of rain fell across parts of metro Atlanta during Michael, Walls said. Atlanta broke the record for the maximum rainfall recorded in one day with 3.42 inches of accumulation Wednesday. The last record, set in 1990, was 1.59 inches.

Flood warnings remain for Forsyth and Fulton counties until 8 p.m., and Gwinnett County is under a flood warning until 11 p.m., according to the NWS. Cobb and Paulding counties are under a flood warning until further notice.

Powder Springs in Cobb County saw 6.34 inches, while Newnan in Coweta County and East Point in Fulton County recorded about 5.5 inches, according to Channel 2.

Atlanta is not at risk of tropical storm-force winds, according to Channel 2, but the region should continue to experience wind gusts.

“The tropical storm warnings and tornado and flash flood watches have been cleared across all of North Georgia,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said. “Gusts near 30 mph today will continue but the threat for heavy rain and damaging winds has ended.”

Some schools and businesses were closed or delayed opening Thursday until the worst of Michael had passed.

Conditions should continue to wind down as Michael moves further east. It likely won’t loose strength as it continues toward Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean by early Friday.

And it continues to pick up speed, Walls said.

“Unlike Florence, which was basically stationary, that’s not at all the case with Michael,” she said.

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