The night the lights went out in Georgia

At this writing, approximately 50,000 customers are still without power in Metro Atlanta, according to Georgia Power.

7:15 p.m., Thursday night

Storms begin to darken the skies in Atlanta, and as my kickball game is ending at Piedmont Park, I know I need to get back to my car quickly.

7:27 p.m.

Tornado warning officially issued for Cobb, Cherokee and Fulton Counties.

7:35 p.m.

Damage reports are already being relayed by WSB-TV and Radio. They’re seeing damage from a possible tornado up in Canton.

7:41 p.m.

I hear a radio report of a tornado with debris heading east, and the radio broadcast mentions the street where my parents live. I text my mom to warn her, and she tells me neither her nor my dad are home, and that she’s taking cover in a bathroom at a nearby neighborhood where she was playing tennis.

7:47 p.m.

Life starts to get really crappy for me.

(I should clarify that I was nowhere near the tornado … but the line of storms that came through my area was packing damaging winds as well, and the sky turned black. It was the worst weather I’ve ever driven through, and driving a tiny Fiat probably made it worse.)

8:31 p.m.

After the storm subsides, I venture out to grab a bite to eat and drive up to East Cobb to check on my folks and the rest of the town. A rainbow appears amidst an eerie yellow sky, complete with my first mammatus cloud sighting.

8:55 p.m.

I see some of the worst damage — the downed trees and light poles at the East Cobb Fire Department (picture above). I get word that my parents are fine.

9:10 p.m.

Driving home, about a mile from my parents’ house, I see more moderate damage. People are wandering the streets of one neighborhood in the dark while others cut up trees that block the street. Another roadway is completely blocked as cars turn around, and red lights from a fire truck illuminate the dark. It looks like chaos.

I’m just glad it wasn’t a lot worse.

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