GILMER COUNTY, Ga. -- When the storm hit Thursday night nearly three dozen campers at Carters Lake tried to pack up and leave, but the wind rushed in so fast and furious it knocked down dozens of trees and blocked them in.
"We heard some thundering to the north, started packing things up and then boom it hit hard," Lyman King said.
For two hours, campers at the Woodring Branch Recreation Area in Gilmer County listened as wind, rain, hail and trees pounded their RV's, cars and tents. King is still amazed that for all the trees that fell, none hit a car or camper.
"A lot of gazebos, tents, awnings. But luckily nobody got hurt," he added.
King and several other families decided after such a long night to go ahead and wind the weekend up early. As he prepared to leave the campsite, crews were still cutting up the trees that had fallen and knocked out power in the area.
"When we lost power we lost water, so no air conditioning, it was a long night," King said.
It wasn't the trees, but the wind that caused the most damage at the Carters Lake marina.
Boat owner Bob Bosco came to the marina with his wife to check on their boat. They found it standing on its nose in the water.
"They said it was gusting up to 80, 85 miles an hour," Bosco said.
He said they share their time between the lake and Florida, but keep their boat here year round.
"We never thought anything would happen here," Bosco said.
He certainly did not imagine the wind would curl the dock's metal roof, snap one of the ramps and buckle boards along the walkway. The marina had reservations to rent out all seven of its boats, but there was too much damage to open on Friday. It hopes to reopen later this weekend.
Georgia Power and North Georgia EMC said they still have about 9,000 customers without power as of late Friday afternoon. Outages are scattered and in rural areas, making it difficult to get families back online quickly, according to the NGEMC. They said it could take crews until Sunday to get everyone back online.