The thunderstorms, which struck just after 9 p.m., caused widespread power outages across Griffin. Representatives of Griffin Power worked well into the night removing toppled trees from power lines and roads.
According to Shift Capt. Roger Slaughter, firefighters with Griffin Fire-Rescue answered approximately 15 calls in a two-hour span.
The Griffin Police Department also responded to numerous calls during the storm.
“One problem is when storms come in, commercial alarms tend to go off,” said Bryan Clanton of the GPD. “We answered a lot of those calls as well as fire calls.”
One significant traffic situation worked Tuesday night by the GPD took place in north Spalding County.
A tree felled by the wind knocked down a utility pole on Manley Drive, causing the power lines to cross both the northbound and southbound lanes of North Expressway.
GPD officer Scott Samson was at this location and observed the chain reaction that followed, resulting in numerous accidents, which required the assistance of officer Joe Hudson, officer Drew Jackson and Clanton.
The driver of one truck who observed the dangerous situation in the roadway pulled into the turn lane to cross the southbound lanes. Immediately afterward, an ambulance traveling southbound caught the power lines which were hanging at an angle across the lanes. When the ambulance hit the lines, it pulled them taut against the truck waiting to turn. The ambulance wrecked and the power lines pulled the first truck 100 feet down the road before it crashed and came to a stop.
Following this incident, a second truck wrecked at this scene after striking the lines. This driver was later charged with DUI.
Finally, a tractor-trailer caught the wires and crashed into a Department of Transportation truck on the scene, totaling it. The driver of the tractor-trailer never stopped following this incident, choosing instead to leave the scene.
The officers were then able to completely shut down all lanes of traffic at this intersection until the lines could be removed from the roadway.
Also reported were a number of homes damaged by falling trees and limbs.
Additional vehicle damage also was seen in the Wal-Mart shopping center parking lot due to carts being tossed about by the strong winds.