UPDATE: Residents in North Georgia are cleaning up after heavy rain and winds knocked out power and brought down trees.
According to Dalton Utilities, more than 1,500 customers lost power, and a gas leak forced an evacuation of an entire neighborhood. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday Dalton Utilities says 400 customers are still without power. Crews continue to work on downed trees/limbs in the Downtown/Historic District and Brookwood. Electric and tree crews will continue to work until power has been restored.
Chainsaws and leaf blowers could be heard through Dalton on Tuesday as utility crews spent the day recovering from Monday night's storm.
Branches, trees, and debris are just some of things left behind for residents to pick up.
Chris Stearns was up early Tuesday to deal with the aftermath in his neighborhood. He said he's never seen a storm like this in Dalton.
"I was outside hanging a birdhouse and I heard a limb over here fall down and then with the wind and all that I just got back in side,” Stearns said.
Local businesses were hit too, parts of City Park School's roof ripped off and marble outside of a bank shattered.
Bruce Frazier with the Dalton Police Department said extra officers were called in because of the amount of 911 calls.
A lot of drivers yesterday were proceeding right on through we had traffic accidents that complicated our response time to other things that were going on,” Frazier said.
Frazier also warns residents to be cautious of ‘tree removal scams’ that could pop up. He advises to residents to research companies you contract and make sure they are legitimate and never pay for services before work is completed.
PREVIOUS STORY: Severe weather moved through northwest Georgia Monday evening causing damage in various areas and leaving many without power.
According to North Georgia EMC, more than 1600 customers were without power after storm. As of 10:05 p.m., most outages have been restored, with about 15 customers without power.
Dalton police say the storm caused the most damage in the downtown area.
Police spokesman Bruce Frazier says, "A gas leak caused by storm damage has forced an evacuation of the Monte Vista Drive area. Crawford Street is shut down in the neighboring area. Motorists should avoid the area."
Frazier says the leak was repaired shortly before 10:00 p.m. and all Monte Vista Drive residents can return to their homes. All roads that were closed because of the leak have reopened.
The gas leak on Monte Vista Drive has been repaired.
A Whitfield County 911 dispatcher tells Channel 3, a tree was down across the northbound on-ramp to exit 336. The dispatcher says some power lines caught fire on Meeting Street. She says most of the damage was in the downtown area of the city; however, there were reports of downed trees and lines on back roads throughout the county.
Shortly after the storm system moved out, the Dalton Police Department released the following statement:
"Shortly before 5 PM, a strong thunderstorm went through downtown Dalton knocking down numerous trees, causing power outages and also causing damage. At this time, no injuries have been reported.
The Dalton Fire Department and Dalton Police Department are responding to multiple reports of damage. The DPD has closed several roads due to downed trees and power lines. The affected area is localized near the downtown Dalton area.
The power outages have affected multiple traffic signals in the area. As a reminder, drivers should treat intersections where signals are out as 4-way stops. On a flashing red light, drivers should stop and then proceed with caution if the intersection is clear. On a flashing yellow, drivers should proceed with caution."
To report a downed power line in the Dalton area you can contact North Georgia Electrical Membership Corp. at (706) 629-3160.
When severe weather threatens the Channel 3 viewing area, download the WRCB Weather app for iPhone and Droid to keep track of it, by searching for "WRCB" in your app store. You can also view the Storm Alert Radar on your desktop here.