1 dead as severe weather crosses Metro Atlanta

10:00 PM, Nov 16, 2011   |    comments
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Damage along a road in Harris County on Wednesday afternoon

ATLANTA -- The storms that hit Metro Atlanta Wednesday afternoon claimed one life in Forsyth County.

County fire officials said a man was killed when a pine tree fell on the SUV he was driving along Brookwood Road near McGinnis Ferry Road.

Heavy rains and high winds pelted much of Metro Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon, prompting severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings across parts of the area.

The heaviest weather was to the south of Metro Atlanta, in Harris County, where a large thunderstorm moved through, snapping trees and yanking down power lines in its wake.

Serious damage was reported at Harris County High School, with metal sheeting pulled away from the roof area. The Harris County 911 Center suffered from significant damage, which forced operations to be moved into a trailer.

The storm caused major damage to the Auburn-Opelika area in Alabama before crossing into Harris County, and despite the damage, few injuries were reported.

National Weather Service survey crews will visit Harris County on Thursday to determine if the storm that hit that area actually did contain a tornado. Weather service officials said they expected to have preliminary results by late Thursday afternoon.

In Metro Atlanta, several hundred Georgia Power customers lost power in the storm. About 300 remained in the dark as of 9 p.m., with most of those in Gwinnett County. About 1,100 customers were reported to be out of power across the rest of the state.

Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson said they were not seeing any significant delays from the storm.

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