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Stormy weather strikes county

Monday’s winds not as damaging

POSTED: April 15, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Stormy weather struck Dawson County twice in a recent four-day span, though Monday’s high winds and rain did not inflict nearly as much damage as Friday’s storm front.


Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services, said about 10 trees toppled onto roads Monday morning, with several power outages reported in the county’s south end.


That was a far cry from Friday night, when the county fell under a tornado warning for two hours, during which time downed trees and power lines closed 35 roads.


“The severe storm caused moderate damage in the northwest portion of the county,” Thurmond said. “Beginning in the Wildcat community of Big Canoe to New Hope Road, in a path one and a half miles wide and five miles long.


“Hundreds of trees were downed from the storm along with numerous power lines.”


The majority of power outages also were in northwestern Dawson, Thurmond said.


Seven homes were damaged during the storm, including a Bearden Road residence where a woman was briefly trapped.


Thurmond said emergency services responded to two storm-related medical calls, including a patient whose shoulder was struck by a tree limb.


In addition, a member of Big Canoe’s Emergency Response Team suffered a heart attack while helping cut fallen trees.


The National Weather Service has not confirmed there was a tornado in the county.


“There were about 3,500 people in the county without power (after the weekend storms),” Thurmond said.


“All power was restored by 5 p.m Sunday.”


Officials activated emergency sirens and Swift Reach notifications during Friday’s storms.


Richard Sims, director of the Community Emergency Response Team, said two-thirds of the county answered emergency phone notification within nine minutes, in which the first cycle of calls was complete with the system approaching 1,500 calls per minute.


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at



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