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'Really scary': Gwinnett family unharmed as tree crashes onto house


Janet Vidal shudders to think about what could've happened if she and her family had been home Wednesday afternoon, when the storms that swept across much of metro Atlanta sent a tree crashing through the roof of their Gwinnett County home.

"I have my son," she said, "and sometimes I come down and cook and he stays [upstairs] and plays. Just imagining is really scary."

Her young daughter alongside, Vidal stood in the driveway of her home on Duluth's Tina Court some two hours after the brunt of the storms — which brought reports of tornadoes in Atlanta's western suburbs — had moved through. Other family members cleaned up or called insurance companies and friends, as branches of the large tree that crushed a second-story bedroom loomed over a carport as they stretched well into the front yard. 

Gwinnett County was under a tornado warning until 2:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon (and saw plenty of rain), but the damage at Vidal's home was one of just a few significant weather-related incidents reported.

A little over two miles west, wires were briefly down on the East Mount Tabor Circle. 

Around 3 p.m. a tree was reported down on North Peachtree Street near Sunset Drive in Norcross, according to the city's police department.

School releases were delayed across the county and some afterschool activities were canceled.

The Vidal family, meanwhile, was left looking for somewhere to stay Wednesday night. Neighbors had their power restored within about an hour of the tree falling, Gwinnett fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said, but Janet Vidal said she had no such luck.  

"We're allowed [in]," she said, "but we're not gonna be able to stay here. ... We're just, I guess, gonna have to go to a hotel or something.


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