Atkinson escapes major storm damage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Atkinson escapes major storm damage

^ A tree downed in Atkinson County ^ A tree downed in Atkinson County

November 12, 2002

Atkinson County - Deputy Lewis Gurley left the Atkinson County Sheriff's Department around seven this morning, transporting an inmate to Terrell County. As Gurley left the Willacoochee city limits, he came face to face with one the county's most severe storms in years.

"I saw trees coming down, laying all over the road, and power lines falling," said Gurley.

Willacoochee Police Chief John Brown was on the phone with Gurley as he approached the storm.

"He said there were trees flying everywhere," said Brown. "This has been one of the worst storms that's come through here in a while."

Gurley immediately called for backup, and local law enforcement blocked off the debris covered lanes of Highway 82. Sheriff Herman Tucker says if it hadn't been for Gurley, the damage could have been much worse.

"Someone probably would have had an accident with all those trees in the middle of the road," said Tucker.

Clipped trees have been cleared from roads and Georgia Power crews scramble to repair downed power lines that have left several homes without electricity. Debris is still scattered throughout the county, but Sheriff Tucker says this damage is minor for a storm of this morning's magnitude.

"We had no injuries, a few power outages, but no major damage," said Tucker. "We're just real lucky."

Atkinson Emergency Management officials still haven't determined whether the storm was a tornado or severe thunderstorm, but either way, people in this county are thankful for such minor damages.

posted at 3:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com