It’s been a nerve-wracking week in Peachtree Corners. I’m not writing about the city council meetings and town-hall-style forums. I’m referring to the weather.
We basically received a 1-2 punch on Tuesday, July 10 with two powerful storms. The first met us with the most destruction. The second storm arrived in the darkness hours later and poured salt in the first storm’s wounds.
On early Tuesday evening, the thunderstorms wreaked havoc on the new city after ravaging nearby Sandy Springs and Dunwoody -- flooding our roadways, downing trees and scattering debris all around us.
After experiencing too much of the typical May, June and July hot weather and drought-like conditions, the rain has been a nice, yet brief respite, but mini-monsoons are obviously not welcome anywhere.
I was caught in the bad weather while driving on Gwinnett County’s Medlock Bridge Road when Tuesday’s storm hit. Traffic lights were swaying, visibility was near zero and I felt like getting in a canoe to row home only a few miles away.
Indeed the rain is much-needed as we are told, but certainly not of the hazardous variety. We do not need the lightning. I’m not sure if it’s me, but I feel that the lightning has gotten more intense. A few reports have come out saying that Gwinnett County has become a heat island which is conducive to intense cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. I became fearful of lightning when I was about 16 and saw it strike a neighbor’s utility lines behind their home. The lines exploded all over their roof. Luckily the sparks didn’t light the house afire. I have seen nearby strikes occur in recent years in Gwinnett, so I pretty much believe in that heat island theory.
It’s always sad to see more trees getting uprooted from these severe storms. The trees keep our buildings cool and give us some relief in these hot months, but it’s disconcerting to see how much damage they can inflict if they fall on our houses or cars. I love the remaining neighborhood trees which benefit us most of the time, but as the years have gone by, they have become more worrisome.
As usual after these severe storms, there is massive clean up. No one knows that better than the folks in many of our subdivisions who have no doubt dialed up tree removal services after hours of no electricity. The tree removal folks are heroes as well as our emergency responders and power company workers who risk it all to get life back to normal.