ATLANTA - In the wake of Wednesday's severe storms, folks in north Georgia woke up to extremely windy weather Thursday morning. A Wind Advisory is in effect for the entire FOX 5 viewing area until 10 p.m.
With the possibility of gusts up around 35 mph, if not higher, there's the strong potential for falling trees, especially given Wednesday's heavy rains. FOX 5 viewers should make sure to secure any loose objects outside and be careful driving.
Otherwise, Thursday will bring mainly cloudy and cooler conditions, with highs topping out in the upper 50s.
It was an extremely stormy day in Georgia on Wednesday as two powerful fronts crisscrossed the state bringing damaging winds, heavy rain, large hail and tornadoes.
The Tornado Watch which was over most of the state on Wednesday was allowed to fully expire early Thursday morning, signaling an end to the most severe of the weather.
A Flash Flood Watch was allowed to expire early Thursday morning, just after most of the Flash Flood Warnings were lifted.
Still, several waterways have a Flood Warning in effect through Thursday morning. Those include Flint River near Lovejoy, Oconee River near Penfield, Clouds Creek near Watson Mill Park, Noses Creek near Powder Springs, South River near Snapfinger, Suwanee Creek near Suwanee, the Yellow River near East Lithonia and Conyers, Sweetwater Creek near Lilburn, and the Big Creek near Cumming.
In Forsyth County, off of McGinnis Ferry Road before the Windward Parkway intersection, a retention wall along an off ramp leading to the Publix parking lot crumbled all over the road.
“I’ve probably seen it this way for about 5 or 6 years,” said Geotechnical Engineer Jim Penman.
Penman is not working to repair the project; he is just a local who has been waiting for the fall for some time. He said it could take more than $100,000 to fix the wall, but only a couple of weeks to get the job done.
Calls made to the Forsyth County Roads and Engineering were not returned. Authorities were able to confirm no one was hurt because of the collapse. No word on if the county or the developer of the property will be responsible for the cleanup.
A husband and wife, their grandson and dog are all safe in Forsyth County after lightning struck a nearby tree and caught their house on fire.
“Well, no one was hurt and that’s what count, I believe. I’ve seen two houses in here burn up before,” said homeowner Jeff Evans. “But you never think it’s going to be your own until it happens.”
Forsyth County Fire officials said they had at least four calls like this before noon Wednesday. They said lightening sparked home fires are common for the area.
At the University of Georgia, video shot by FOX 5 viewer Ben Auxier shows how much rain came down at one point during the day in Athens. The runoff could be seen cascading down a flight of stairs in what could only be described as a man-made, but nature powered waterfall.
In Douglasville, a tree fell on a mobile home while a mother and daughter were napping in separate rooms. It happened in the Pinebrook Mobile Home Community.
“I heard a loud a loud clunk and I saw the sky and I just went running, I don’t know I just saw the house came down or something, but I just ran through the broken everything because I ran to find my child, that’s all I kept thinking about ‘my child, my child, where is she?’ and I got, ran into the room and there she was sleeping very peacefully.
"As a father, there is no greater joy than to having kids, you know, everything is fine. You can always recuperate everything, you can always get more, lose a little bit, but a child that's something unique,” said Nefrif Mendez. “You’ll give everything for your children.”
A large pine tree could be seen from the outside of the home having crushed its way partially into the structure. On the incident, branches and debris from the home itself streamed down from the roof.
In East Point, trees, branches and debris littered the roadway along Dobson Drive. That scene was repeated over and over again across north Georgia.
In Lilburn, FOX 5 viewer Tred Avon shared pictures of a home smashed by a fallen tree. Firefighters said the tree took out a wall on the second floor of the home. Several people were home at the time, but thankfully no one was injured.
Also in Gwinnett County, three fires were blamed on Wednesday’s storms. Firefighters said they believe lightning hit two homes in Lilburn and one in Loganville. All three homes were damages, but no injuries were reported.
And a close call in Grant Park in Atlanta where an 80-year-old tree toppled over.
“We were getting ready to leave the house for him to go get his driver's permit,” said mother Tammy Greenbaum. “The house shook.”
“It was just really loud and really, it’s really hard to describe. It's like shattering wood, it sounded like, just a really loud boom,” said Cole Greenbaum.
“I kind of just screamed because I was really scared [be]cause they were walking out the door and I was just really worried because like we normally go right under the tree and I was just really scared that they could have been hurt,” said Devon Greenbaum.
The family said they do not recall any high winds at the time. They believe the tree toppled because of the loose soil thanks to the heavy rains.
Power to just a few homes was affected.
In Rockdale County, where students were thankfully on spring break, a lightning may be to blame for a fire which broke out inside Hightower Trail Elementary School. It happened around 2 p.m. Firefighters responded to an automatic alarm. School officials said the fire damaged a front office.
And firefighters found themselves in an emergency Wednesday when their truck crashed into a tree in Walton County. The first responders were on their way to a lightning fire at the time. Officials said no one was injured in the crash.
In Americus, residents were on edge after a tornado warning. It brought back memories of a series of tornadoes nearly a decade ago.
"We had been tracking the storm on TV and so, the housecleaner had come and they had just got done cleaning the dining room here and we said 'Well, we better get something to eat' because we knew where the storm was at, we had about 20 minutes. So we got something to eat and we prayed and we went downstairs and as can see, we all okay. The Lord answered our prayers. This right here, this is nothing. It's just He protected us like He promised He would," said homeowner Brett Hewett.
A tree smashed down on the home, ripping a huge hole in the dining room, but no one was hurt.
In Heflin, FOX 5 viewer Hannah Hatch shot this video of hailstones falling. In the video, as the hail increases, it forced a dog outside to seek shelter.
In Augusta, the severe weather shut down the Masters for the second time this week. Officials suspended play around 1:25 p.m., cutting short the final round of practice before the start of the tournament.
Just after noon, the second wave of storms began to move through. The area was under a Tornado Watch for most of the night. It is unclear how many tornadoes actually touched down in the state. Survey teams with the National Weather Service will travel to some of the hardest hit areas on Thursday to determine if a tornado hit.
Colder air is moving in behind the final front which is moving through the state. The low early Thursday morning will not get above 50 and the high later that day should be just below 60.