Published Friday, February 01, 2013
By JOHN A. WINTERS
Coweta County’s public elementary schools delayed releasing students Wednesday as a powerful storm knocked down trees and power lines in the county.
The county’s fire department also sent an engine and three firefighters to help in north Georgia in Gordon County, where at least 10 people were injured, and two of those critically. Between 50 and 100 homes in Gordon were impacted by the storm and a suspected tornado.
“The dismissal delays were implemented to ensure student safety,” said Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System. “Dismissal of all Coweta elementary schools was delayed because of emergency management warnings of severe weather and hazardous driving conditions affecting Coweta and surrounding counties Wednesday afternoon.”
Those storms hit right as schools were letting out. Dismissal was delayed for all elementary students from 2:30 p.m. until 2:55. Three schools, Poplar Road, Willis Road and Eastside, were delayed until after 3 p.m.
The delays impacted not only buses, but car pick-ups as well. Those delays, in turn, affected release times for middle and high schools.
Also Wednesday, Coweta Fire Department Captain Rusty Brewer and firefighters David Justice and Warren Brooks went to Gordon County after the fire department received a request from the Georgia Mutual Aid Group around noon Wednesday, said Deputy Chief Todd Moore.
“Upon arrival our crews were assigned a search-and- rescue assignment,” Moore said. “Their operational period is expected to be 12 to 36 hours. Initial reports from our members indicates extensive damage to structures and infrastructure throughout Gordon County.”
In Coweta, there were 11 reports of trees down and five power lines down, according to Emergency Management Director Jay Jones.
Downed trees were at Welcome Road at Jack Russell Road, 10 Forest Place, Mill Street Court, 4840 North U.S. 29 near Arbor Springs Elementary, Macedonia Road at Newton Road, 1900 block of Highway 16 West, 490 Welcome to Arnco Road, 80 Greentop Road, 12 Roberts Road, 1 Tom Witcher Road, and 1203 Allen Road.
Downed power lines were reported at 9 Westport Place, 1360 Andrew Bailey Road, 1375 Boone Road, 17 Tanglewood Road, and 39 Farmer Street at Bullsboro Drive.