Cherokee misses worst of severe weather
by Erin Dentmon
edentmon@cherokeetribune.com
January 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 2106 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From the Emergency Operations Center in Canton, Cherokee Fire and Rescue can keep a close eye on severe storm fronts. <br>Staff/Todd Hull
From the Emergency Operations Center in Canton, Cherokee Fire and Rescue can keep a close eye on severe storm fronts.
Staff/Todd Hull
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Cherokee Sheriff Roger Garrison and Fire Chief Tim Prather watch a live radar feed and news reports from the Emergency Operations Center as Wednesday's storm approaches.
Cherokee Sheriff Roger Garrison and Fire Chief Tim Prather watch a live radar feed and news reports from the Emergency Operations Center as Wednesday's storm approaches.
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Robby Westbrook, director of the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, keeps a careful eye on the severe storm.
Robby Westbrook, director of the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, keeps a careful eye on the severe storm.
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The worst of Wednesday’s severe weather bypassed Cherokee County after storms and a tornado killed at least one person in Bartow County, injured multiple people and caused significant property damage.

In Cherokee County, no storm-related injuries were reported, Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Robby Westbrook said.

A few other problems were reported across the county. A tree was reported down on Sardis Road near Lower Burris Road north of Canton during the storm, blocking the roadway.

Cherokee County also experienced scattered flooding. Bells Ferry Road was closed between Butterworth Road and Marietta Highway in the afternoon, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jay Baker.

Some other scattered areas of the county experienced high water in the storm’s aftermath, and sections of other roads in the county flooded during the afternoon.

Cherokee County was under two separate tornado warnings during the day Wednesday. The first was in effect from 11:11 until 11:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued a second tornado warning for Cherokee County at 12:41 p.m. The warning expired at 1:30 p.m. and was replaced with a severe thunderstorm warning lasting until 2:15 p.m.

The county was under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Wednesday and a wind advisory until midnight.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and other agencies monitored the storm activity in the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

Baker said officials monitor National Weather Service alerts, amateur radio, news media reports and other information sources during severe weather and update the public using Nixle and social media.

At one point, radar indicated a tornado above the BridgeMill area, but no tornado was reported on the ground, Westbrook said.

All Cherokee County School District schools were instructed to have students seek shelter during the storm, school system spokesperson Barbara Jacoby said.

Next week, Feb. 4 to 8, is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Georgia. Cherokee County Emergency

Management will give away up to 500 all-hazard weather radios during the week.

Anyone can pick one up between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cherokee County Public Safety Building on Chattin Drive in Canton.

With only 500 radios, Westbrook said it’s likely the radios will move quickly.

The radios can alert users to weather warnings and watches, as well as other alerts including missing persons.

EMA encourages every family to own a hazard radio, Westbrook said.

“This (weather) just emphasizes that need,” he said.

Sunny skies and cooler temperatures are forecast for today through the weekend.
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