Thunderstorms Roar Through Rush Hour

High winds, hail and lightning felt as the storms arrived.

Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday

Once again, Mother Nature came calling with damaging storms in the area.

A line of strong thunderstorms hit metro Atlanta, including the Lilburn area, during the Wednesday afternoon commute, bring heavy rain, dangerous lightning and strong, gusty winds.

Gwinnett Fire and Rescue reported  that some trees were down and one home caught on fire due to a lightning strike. No injuries were reported, but two pets (one dog, one cat) perished in the fire.

The storm hit the Lilburn area around 4:30 p.m, with the heaviest of the weather felt as it arrived. Heavy rain followed.

Gwinnett Fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said firefighters responded to a fire at a split-level home on the 700 block of Continental Drive in Lawrenceville, just off River Drive near the Lilburn-Lawrenceville zip code line.

Rutledge said firefighters arrived on the scene at 4:51 p.m., finding heavy smoke and a fully involved fire. A woman was at home when lightning struck, causing the fire. She was trying to get several pets out of the home when police and fire crews arrived. The house received extensive damage to the interior.

Investigators believe lightning struck nearby and traveled inside the home via the electrical wiring.

Rutledge added that a fire truck that was en route to where wires were reported down in the area, diverted to the fire scene and prevented faster spread of flames.

-- Firefighters responded to report of a tree down on a house in the 3700 block of Willow Wood Way in Lawrenceville.  The uprooted oak tree crashed through the living room. Four occupants escaped unharmed.

-- In Lilburn, a large pine tree fell onto a truck and snapped a power pole in the 2900 block of Five Oaks Circle. The tree pulling down the power line also damaged the roof of the house.

-- Power was out for about an hour in the River Drive area near Knight Elementary School. About three-quarters of an inch of rain fell in less than an hour in the area.

Thunderstorms are still in the forecast today. Check out the local radar here.


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