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Destructive weekend storm tears through Athens


By Joe Johnson

An intense storm that blew into town over the weekend reportedly damaged nearly two dozen homes and injured one person.

The heaviest damage occurred in the Bedgood and Glenwood neighborhoods, where it looked as though a twister ripped through heavily tree lined streets, though no tornado was confirmed to have touched down.

Calls began lighting up at the county’s 911/Communications Center shortly after 9 a.m. on Saturday, according to Jeff Kelley, division chief for operations at the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services Department.

“The 911 Center began receiving calls for trees and power lines down in the areas of Dogwood Drive and Riverview Road following an intense thunderstorm,” he said. “Crews were met with many downed trees, some entangled in power lines. Many streets in the neighborhood were impassible due to trees and debris across roadways.”

Power and Gas companies were requested to respond to the area to secure gas and electrical utilities, while county public works crews began the task of clearing roadways of trees, branches and other storm debris, Kelley said.

"It appears that 15 to 20 homes were affected in the Riverview and Dogwood areas of the Bedgood neighborhood, as well as Pinecrest off Milledge Extension,” said ACCFES Battalion Chief Nate Moss.

He said that many of those homes were significantly damaged from fallen trees and power lines, including one into which a large tree crashed.

One minor injury was reported to have been related to the storm

Moss credited local and state utility crews for reopening roads the day of the storm damage and restoring utilities during the nighttime hours.

According to Moss, the National Weather Service saw evidence for damage due to straight line winds, but it did not appear to have been caused by a tornado.

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