ATLANTA — Nearly 70,000 customers in metro Atlanta remained without power early Friday morning after a system of severe thunderstorms slammed into the state, power company officials said.
Kennesaw State University, northwest of Atlanta, said it was cancelling all classes Friday due to power outages. Georgia Perimeter College also cancelled Friday classes at its Dunwoody campus.
There were several reports of downed trees throughout north Georgia before dawn on Friday, as crews worked to clear debris from roads and restore power.
In Sandy Springs, just north of Atlanta, roads were blocked by fallen limbs and debris.
"A huge tree did fall and it's blocking the road; it's a big tree," said Gene Cambardella, who lives in a Sandy Springs neighborhood where large oak and pine trees are commonplace. He reported the massive tree came down across a dead-end street in a neighborhood of two-story suburban homes, blocking any exit for several neighbors.
"We can't get out," he said. "It fell across the street into another front yard and it took down the power lines. I looked at the trunk and it must be 3 feet in diameter. I'm glad it fell opposite the neighbor's home and away from the house."
In that Sandy Springs neighborhood, one of Cambardella's neighbors immediately put up emergency tape marking a downed power line sprawled across a front yard. Large limbs were down all around the neighborhood.
In the Cherokee County town of Canton, just northwest of Atlanta, National Weather Service forecasters say falling trees left two people with non-life threatening injuries. Forecasters said they would likely send officials to Cherokee County Friday to determine whether a tornado touched down there. Authorities say they suspect that many of the fallen trees in metro Atlanta were toppled by powerful straight-line winds.
Georgia Power said that by 5:30 a.m. Friday, about 65,000 customers were without power in metro Atlanta, with many of them in northern suburbs that were hart-hit by the storms. Georgia Electric Membership Corp. said 3,600 of its customers were also without power in the metro area as of 6 a.m.