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Trees Downed in July Storms

By Nancy Leighton
After nearly a month with little rain, storms brought torrents along with strong winds, downed trees, power outages, and property damage.
The first storm came in booming, flashing, and crashing just after dark on July 9. By 10:45pm a tree had fallen over power lines on Custer Avenue, knocking out the power for five hours. As the rain continued, the timpani drum sounds of transformers going out could be heard over and over again until the lights were out in a wide area.
Trees were down in the East Atlanta area too. Several large trees were damaged in the 600 block of Stokeswood Avenue. These trees were on a vacant lot so no houses were damaged, but the big limbs blocked the road until the city could clear the street. Other debris from these trees may be around for some time. Beautiful old linden trees were knocked down at the Zuber-Jerrell house, now owed by Jennifer Murray, on Flat Shoals Avenue. East Atlanta resident David Van Cronkhite was reminded of the tornado in March 2008. Back then a big tree from his yard fell across Haas Avenue, damaging the fence and front of the house across the road.
This storm also made longtime Grant Park resident Penny Luck think of the tornado of 2008. She remembers that 80 trees were lost in Historic Oakland Cemetery.
This time six trees went down over Cherokee Avenue between Cherokee Place and Millage Avenue. They fell from Grant Park and blocked the street and the sidewalk. City crews removed the branches from both street and sidewalk. More cleanup was done a few weeks later. Fortunately there were no power lines on that side of the street so there were no power outages in that area.
A Grant Park house on the corner of Grant Street and Orleans Avenue was hit. The house, now covered by a huge blue tarp, has a big dent in the side and roof. Not only did the tree damage the house, it also tore down many sections of picket fence, crushed bushes along the house foundation, and smashed half of a children’s play set.
That was not the end of the storms. They came back every day, either after dark or late in the day, until the weekend came. The rain was so heavy that there was flooding along Entrenchment Creek in Boulevard Heights and another, not so
widespread, power outage along Custer Avenue. After the weekend break the rain came back again for another three days.
With so much moisture in the soil, clusters of mushrooms started pushing up in some yards. This same moisture could lead to more trees falling, even on a calm and sunny day.

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