Severe storms leave behind widespread damage across metro

Severe storms leave behind widespread damage across metro
Goody's store in Bremen damaged during storms (WSB-TV)

A line of severe storms that moved across metro Atlanta Saturday night downed trees and power lines, flooded roads and even sparked a massive fire at one home.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is in Euharlee, where the roof of a nearly 170-year-old church was ripped off in Saturday’s storms. The church was previously being used as an event space.

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Channel 2′s Tony Thomas was in Johns Creek Saturday night, where witnesses say a tree knocked out a power line and set a house on fire off Abbotts Bridge Road. The family was able to escape without injury.

Thomas talked to neighbors, who said the high winds fanned the flames.

“There was a little fire going on and then the next thing, the whole house was on fire,” Kaoki Kyobashi said.

In Bremen, an entire wall of a Goody’s department store collapsed. Channel 2′s Christian Jennings is on the scene working to learn how it happened.

There were reports of trees down on homes throughout the metro Atlanta area. In Carroll County, a tree fell on Daniel and Jeannie Addison’s home in Carrollton.

“We were just watching Hulu and heard a loud rumble like something breaking,” Daniel Addison said. “About the time I come out, rafters were coming down on my head.”

Addison said the tree landed on his children’s bunkbeds but they were not at home at the time.

The homeowners say the tree crashed into their kids' bedroom, but luckily, they weren't home.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was in Brookhaven, where a tree fell on a woman’s home. Urvashi Deshmukh, 24, was watching television when she heard a huge crash.

“I knew that there was a storm going on, so I thought, 'God, there’s some lightning here or something!” Deshmukh said.

When she went outside, Deshmukh found that a 100-foot oak tree had fallen on her home and left two gaping holes in the roof. Luckily, no one was injured.

Channel 2 Action News viewers flooded our newsroom with images of fallen trees and debris in nearly every metro Atlanta county.

All but one lane of I-285 westbound was closed ahead of Ashford Dunwoody Road because of flooding on the highway.

At least one person was injured in Morgan County by a falling tree.

At least 11 people were killed as the storms moved through Louisiana, Texas and Alabama earlier Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, confirmed that three deaths occurred in Pickens County, according to its Twitter page.

An elderly couple was found dead in the town of Haughton, Louisiana, and another person was killed when a pine tree fell onto a home in the town of Oil City, Louisiana, the local sheriff’s offices said in separate statements.

In Nacogdoches County, Texas, a 44-year-old man was killed when a tree fell across a home, according to authorities. The man was identified as Larry Hadnot, Jr. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another person died in Dallas when their car flipped into a creek west of downtown Dallas, according to police.

Here’s a look at the storms as they happened:

6:54 p.m.

Over 20,000 people are without power in Fulton County, according to Georgia Power.

6:43 p.m.

Buildings in metro Atlanta have sustained damage, including a church in Euharlee.

6:02 p.m.

The updated tornado watch drops many counties in west Georgia and expands to the east.

5:36 p.m.

Severe storms appear to have ripped a storefront from a building in Breman, Ga.

5:30 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Spalding, Fayette, Meriwether, Pike, Henry, Upson, Coweta, Clayton, Harris and Lamar counties until 6:15 p.m.

5:25 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Hall, Forsyth and Clayton counties until 6:15 p.m.

5:22 p.m.

A tree fell on a home in Carroll County. Luckily, no one was hurt.

5:18 p.m.

Viewers sent us this photo of a billboard down on a car in Rome, Ga. as strong storms moved through.

4:55 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Lumpkin, Gilmer, Dawson, Pickens, Union and Fannin counties until 5:45 p.m.

4:52 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Paulding, Cherokee, Cobb, Carroll, Douglas, Fulton, Clayton and Bartow counties until 5:30 p.m.

4:48 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Meriwether, Heard, Troup, and Coweta counties until 4:47 p.m.

4:29 p.m.

A ground stop is in effect at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

4:28 p.m.

Viewers are reporting flooding and trees down in Floyd County.

4:24 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Bartow, Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Paulding, Pickens and Polk counties until 5:00 p.m.

3:54 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Haralson, Carroll and Polk counties until 4:45 p.m.

3:50 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued until 4:30 p.m. for parts of Gordon, Floyd, Chattooga and Bartow counties for 60 mph wind gusts.

3:28 p.m.

The level 3 risk for severe storms has been expanded and now includes Northwest Georgia, western Metro Atlanta and south central Georgia.

3:09 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Catoosa, Floyd, Whitfield, Walker, Dade and Chattooga counties until 3:45 p.m.

2:27 p.m.

Authorities say at least seven people have died as severe storms sweep across parts of the U.S. South, bringing high winds and unrelenting rain.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, said Saturday via Twitter that three people have been confirmed killed near Carrollton in Pickens County. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said that an “embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms” caused the deaths.

Earlier Saturday, firefighters found the bodies of an elderly couple Saturday near their demolished trailer, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office said via Facebook. The winds were so strong that the home was moved 200 feet from its foundation.

The deaths of the victims, who were the in-laws of a parish deputy, brings the storm-related toll in the state to three after a 75-year-old man was killed in Oil City, according to the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office. Raymond Holden was in bed when the tree fell on his home, crushing him.

Updated Severe Weather Outlook:

- Level 3 of 5 for our western counties including Floyd, Polk, Haralson, Carroll, Heard. Troup, Coweta and Meriwether.

- Level 2 of 5 now in place for the remainder of north Georgia including Atlanta east to Athens, Eatonton, Blairsville.

Delays & Cancellations:

Cobb County:

- Due to the forecast, a planned Saturday parade, celebration and open house at the new Fire Station #1 in Mableton has been postponed until further notice. There is not yet a new date.

Clayton County:

In anticipation of severe inclement weather forecasted for this evening, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) has cancelled all scheduled basketball games for January 11, 2020.

Douglas County:

From Douglas County Schools: Out of an abundance of caution, the starting time for high school basketball games has been moved up for Saturday, January 11, 2020. We hope that this change will allow our players, coaches, and fans the opportunity to travel while the weather is still favorable.

The revised times are below for varsity basketball games:

- DCHS at NMHS 3:30 and 5:00

- AHS at LSHS 2:00 and 3:30

- Chapel Hill at Cartersville 12:00 and 1:30