Winter storm leaves destructive path across North Georgia

ATLANTA — As the winter storm moved across North Georgia this weekend, it brought down trees and power lines as a mix of rain, sleet and snow, combined with high winds, took its toll on the metro area.

NORTH FULTON COUNTY:

In Roswell, a massive tree fell at the city’s Cultural Arts Center. It smashed the roof of the large brick entryway to the bridge, and it blocked the entrance to the building.

It took a tree cutting crew hours to clear it off.

Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen was there as crews used a crane to help remove the massive tree. He spoke with the Underwoods, who decided to venture out into the snow for a closer look.

“It’s amazing that the bridge is still standing. It’s a lot of damage,” Tracy Underwood said after seeing the damage.

A chainsaw crew reduced the huge pine to a huge pile of logs.

Had that tree come down in another direction, it might have hit the arts center.

“It’s amazing what Mother Nature can dish out to you with this kind of weather on you,” Jeff Underwood said.

In Sandy Springs, a utility pole snapped in half and fell into the middle of Spalding Drive.

Eva Goosen said she was happy to see the snow and relieved they didn’t lose power.

“I was really excited because, like, we haven’t seen snow, and it doesn’t really snow a lot in Atlanta, so it’s kind of exciting to actually see snow for the first time in winter,” Goosen said.

GWINNETT COUNTY:

In Gwinnett County, we were there as Jackson EMC crews worked all morning to repair a transformer that caught fire and blew after a massive pine tree fell on power lines.

Gwinnett police blocked traffic along Bogan Road in Suwannee for about four hours.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston caught up with utility crews in Suwanee near Collins Hill Park where crews had a hard time keeping up with downed power lines.

“We were getting ready for no power the whole day, we were grabbing our candles, then saw them working and the power came on sooner,” neighbor Brandon Delarosa said.

Off Rock Springs Road in Buford, a tree blocked the exit to the Brook Forest community. Instead of waiting for county crews, neighbors cut up the tree and moved it themselves.

“Everybody ought to chip in and help each other,” neighbor Steve Eafano said.

DEKALB COUNTY:

In DeKalb County, Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes found power crews along North Druid Road working on a tangled mess of downed power lines.

One neighbor said it was scary when the power lines came down.

“At 4:30 a.m., we were sleeping, and we heard an explosion go off. We opened our blinds, and we saw, like, sparks everywhere,” neighbor Celeste Vitrano said.

As of Sunday evening, Vitrano said she still had a power line draped over her driveway.

That’s why she and her wife have stayed inside all day.

“Every car that was passing, it was, like, sparks and sparks and sparks. Seeing all the sparks and flames. Last night, we stayed inside,” Vitrano said.

In Dunwoody, a large tree snapped and fell into someone’s bedroom.

“I woke up literally with the ceiling collapsing on my face,” homeowner Matt Dowling told Fernandes. “So there was a big tree out back that fell — knock on wood, we were very lucky — it fell literally directly over the bed.”

Dowling said his dogs were already going crazy because the wind was blowing so hard, so when the tree fell into the bedroom and the office, Dowling and his family were just glad they weren’t injured.

“Everybody is OK, knock on wood,” Dowling said.

RELATED NEWS: