Power outages remained the main problem for residents in Reporter communities and throughout Metro Atlanta Oct. 29 in the wake of the remnants of Hurricane Zeta passing through overnight with winds over 50 mph.
More than 430,000 households served by Georgia Power remained without electricity at 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 29, with tens of thousands of customers getting their power back on each hour. In Fulton County, 120,314 were waiting to have power restored. DeKalb County still had 109,010 customers with their lights out. In the Sandy Springs-Dunwoody Perimeter Center area, more than 17,000 Georgia Power customers were without electricity. Customers can view and report outages at outagemap.georgiapower.com/.
Motorists found down trees, power lines and traffic lights without power as the biggest dangers after the storm passed. Dunwoody Police reported a dozen streets and intersections with trees down and a handful of power outages early in the morning, with city residents reporting many more problems in replies to the Facebook post.
The Sandy Springs Police Department reported 67 locations with trees or power lines down, which city and Georgia Power crews began to work to clear.
”Zeta blew a lot of debris, and it’s a mess out there. If you must be out on the roadways, use added caution,” the department reported on Facebook.
In Buckhead, a tree fell on a house at 2575 Habersham Road, with no immediate report of injuries, according to the Atlanta Police Department.
Trails were being closed across the region, with Sandy Springs closing Overlook Park Trails and Brookhaven Parks and Recreation reporting the Peachtree Creek Greenway was closed.
The Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fulton County school systems had already pre-emptively closed their offices for Oct. 29 and, where students are back in classrooms, moved to remote learning — though outages made even that difficult.
No major damages were reported to schools in Brookhaven or Dunwoody, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) reported, though it is dealing with large amounts of storm debris and a few downed trees. Widespread power outages has been the biggest effect.
Since the William Bradley Bryant Technology Center and DCSD’s data center have power, virtual learning should not be impacted.
“Students will not be negatively impacted if they are not able to participate in synchronous learning,” the district reported.
“With Zeta impacting power [and] Wi-Fi, & causing property damage across the district, everyone’s safety is our first concern. For those who have the ability, learning will continue today online. Where conditions have impacted access, students will be held harmless for any absences,” the Fulton County Schools system reported on Facebook.
The Fulton County Board of Health opened its COVID-19 testing sites at noon in the north off North Point Parkway in Alpharetta and in the west at Adamsville. Mobile sites were closed.
The power outages and fluctuations have caused other problems. DeKalb County reported on Facebook that some water customers may experience temporary drops in water pressure because of power fluctuations and outages at county pump stations. As the winds knocked down trees and left others ready to fall later in the day, power lines have been damaged to cause the outages until generators at the pump stations kick in.
The outages and storm cleanup came a day before the conclusion of early voting for the Nov. 3 election and was disrupting some polling places, including at Buckhead’s Chastain Park gym. The ACLU of Georgia issued a call for the state to extend the early voting period to ensure that voters had the full 12 hours of access to polling places.
–John Ruch contributed
Update: This story has been updated with information about a tree fall in Buckhead and early voting impacts.