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No April Fools'


April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. But the storms that swept through Georgia and the greater part of the South on Monday and Tuesday of this week were not preparing the soil for any tulips. The severe thunderstorms that ranged from Texas to the Carolinas packed winds gusting high enough to down power lines, fell trees, and cause massive structural damage to homes and buildings. In Georgia, up to 50,000 Georgia Power customers went without power, with 13,000 still in the dark as of Monday night. A large tree fell on a van in the middle of downtown Atlanta; luckily no one was injured. The Red Cross responded to disaster victims throughout Monday night, and remain on-call since many people face debris clean-up as well as serious damage to their homes and businesses. Unfortunately, the forecast is for more severe thunderstorms to move through Georgia and the Atlanta metro area Tuesday and Wednesday. The storms will bring a cold front, as well as a high threat of hail, lightening and more power outages from high winds.


The thunderstorms that stretched from Texas to the Carolinas left a path of destruction in their wake. In Louisiana, flash flooding submerged cars, and a tornado flipped a mobile home, killing a mother and daughter inside. A state of emergency was declared. In Mississippi, nearly 3 inches of rain fell in just 48 minutes, triggering flash floods. Winds uprooted trees, killing one person and injuring another when a tree fell on their home. All told, the weather event of April 2-3, 2017 left 5 people dead and dozens injured across the South.

Severe thunderstorms are by far the most common form of severe weather in the United States. The winds produced by these storms, known as straight-line winds, cause the most damage in the U.S. Straight-line winds are strong enough to down tree limbs, knock out power, possibly down entire trees onto homes and cars, and lead to structural damage to homes, businesses and other buildings. Severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds caused the downed trees and power lines in Georgia and in most of the South this week (although tornadoes did develop in some areas).


In late spring or summer, thunderstorms may form a long-lived fast-moving complex of high winds known as a derecho. These winds can top 100mph, which is equal to an EF1 tornado. Derechos produce the kind of damage seen in the storms of April 2-3, 2017 across the South. In fact, in 2014, 33 people were killed and another 240 injured by high winds from thunderstorms in the U.S.


Not only do severe thunderstorms produce damaging winds, but many times they cause hail. Most hailstones—95%—are golf ball size or smaller. Even at this size, hailstones can damages roof shingles and dent vehicles. When hailstones are larger—baseball size—they can smash vehicle windshields and put holes in roofs. If those baseball-size hailstones are driven by strong winds, siding on a home and whole vehicles can be ruined, not to mention personal injury can occur if someone is caught in the hail storm without shelter. In 2014, 23 people were injured by large hail in the U.S.


If you or someone you know has been injured or suffered property damage due to severe weather, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free evaluation of your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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