Cook County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Johnny West would like to thank the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the County Road Department, Colquitt EMC and the third party companies that assisted them with repairing power lines and replacing poles, and Georgia Power in their response to last week’s severe thunderstorms.
“Their response to the unprecedented severe storms last week was noted and greatly appreciated by the residents of the county,” West said. “We are also asking that when we have situations like this, everyone stay off the roads until they can be checked and cleared of hazards.”
The National Weather Service storm prediction center has forecast several more days of potential severe weather this week. “Please stay weather aware and have multiple ways of getting weather information and alerts,” West said.
The bad weather started last Tuesday evening, June 13. Several asked about the weather event, but Cook County EMA advised that this was not a tornado. The damage that occurred throughout the county was from straight line winds related to the thunderstorms that moved through the community and area. There were numerous reports of trees and power lines down with outages. There were also a couple of homes and buildings that sustained damage. EMA reiterated a very special thanks to law enforcement and road personnel and the utility company workers for their quick response and for working through the night to keep everyone safe and get utilities restored.
Late Wednesday afternoon, June 14, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Cook and surrounding counties with cloud rotation indicated in scans. No twister touchdown was reported locally. However, high winds and heavy rains wreaked havoc again. A hail storm pelted a large part of the county. Hail stones golf-ball-sized and larger fell in some areas, damaging roofs and cracking vehicle windshields. The thunderstorms returned Thursday with resulting mayhem. Several inches of rain fell throughout the week (some areas in north Cook reported 7 inches).
The Cook County Fire Department had the following storm-related calls over the past week:
• Tuesday, June 13, 2023 – Chaserville Station was paged out to a power line that had fallen on a vehicle on Lonnie Grimsley Road during a severe storm.
Fire personnel and Colquitt EMC arrived on the scene. The line was de-energized, and the person in the vehicle was OK.
While on this call, a separate incident occurred where a utility pole had broken, and the transformers were on fire in a field on Tarrant Road. Colquitt EMC disconnected the power, and the fire was then extinguished.
• Wednesday, June 14, 2023 – Pine Valley Station was paged out to a fire alarm activation on Pike Creek Road. While units were en route, the homeowner confirmed that it was a false alarm due to the severe thunderstorms in the area. No action was taken.
• Wednesday, June 14, 2023 – Central Cook Station was paged out to a transformer/utility pole on fire on Quail Run Circle.
Upon arrival, the fire was out, and the power company was notified. Cause of the fire was presumed to be a lightning strike during a severe storm that passed through the county.
(County Emergency Medical Responders – EMRs – also responded to two medical calls during the past week.)
The Adel Fire Department (AFD) had the following storm-related calls over the past week:
• 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 – AFD was toned out by dispatch to West Ninth Street and South Pine Street, where a tree had fallen on a power line and was causing smoke. AFD stood by until the City of Adel Electric Department arrived on the scene. The tree was then removed, and AFD units returned to station.
• 12:52 p.m. Thursday, June 15 – AFD was toned out for response to a power line smoking at 3020 Massee Post Road. Fire personnel arrived on the scene and found that a limb had fallen on the line. They called the Adel Electric Department, but the line turned out to be in Colquitt EMC’s territory. AFD stood by until the limb was removed from the line and then returned to station.
• 6:38 p.m. Thursday, June 15 – AFD was dispatched to South Cleveland Avenue, where a tree had fallen on a power line. AFD stood by until the Adel Electric Department removed the limb from the line and then returned to station.
• 6:40 p.m. Thursday, June 15 – AFD responded to 69 Kelsie St., where a tree had fallen on a house with possible entrapment of a resident.
Upon arrival, AFD found that Cook County Sheriff’s Office deputies had already removed the homeowner from the residence. AFD then returned to station.