Decatur Dealing With “Over 100 Tree Issues” from Hurricane Irma

Here’s the latest on the power outages still plaguing Decatur, from the city…

The City of Decatur experienced over 100 tree issues during the period when Tropical Storm Irma came through on Monday.  Beginning yesterday (Tuesday) morning our priorities were to clear major transportation routes of downed trees and to work with Georgia Power to assist them in getting power on for as many residents and businesses as possible.

Today (Wednesday) our priorities are to work with Georgia Power to get power restored in areas where school facilities are located, including Westchester and Clairemont Elementary Schools and College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center.

It is possible that the area in the western part of the City along West Ponce de Leon and East and West Parkwood area will not be addressed any sooner than tomorrow.

We will continue to clear major transportation corridors and then begin moving later today to secondary streets.  It is likely that our work on streets will continue through the rest of this week.

We know that power outages are disruptive and cause major problems.  Many of our own staff do not have power at their homes in the City so we have first-hand experience with the challenges and frustrations felt by residents and businesses.  While patience is running thin, please know that we are working to get things back to normal as soon as possible.

Photo courtesy of City of Decatur – Government Facebook page

Storm Damage Around Every Other Turn in Decatur

A cursory glance around downtown Decatur and you might think things are almost back to normal after the Irma wind machine passed through town back on Monday.  Not a lot of structural damage.  Businesses have power.  Just get some of those traffic lights working and we’ll be back in business!  Right?

However, look a bit closer at the people and you’ll notice that something is very off.

Restaurant kitchen staff are exhausted from heavy crowds and restaurants are low – or plum out! – of food.  (“Another beer, sir?”  “Well, I need the calories, so yeah. Thanks.”)  Parents stare blankly into the distance, exhausted from their chaotic effort to empty the necessities out of the fridge when the power went out and racking their brains to figure out how to get their phone another fix of electricity.  And the children.  The kids seem lost, confused and looking desperately for anything to quell their boredom. What’s going on?

Decatur’s neighborhoods took the hit.

I took a quick run around the northside of the city this morning and was struck by how the extensive the storm damage from Hurricane Irma was in seemingly each neighborhood.

Honestly, I probably should have been a bit more prepared.  When I pulled up the city’s helpful map of road closures (as of 4p yesterday) I noticed that I would need to detour from each of my standard running routes to avoid a big red “road closed” dot.

And these aren’t small trees that are blocking these routes.  We’re talking big old trees that gave up the ghost in the passing storm.  Like the guy above, laying across Geneva Street in the Great Lakes.  Or this fella, resting off in the distance across Oakland Street.  The city continues to work to reopen each of these streets, but there are just a lot of trees down.

Meanwhile, maybe the most MAJOR of intersections in Decatur remains closed as crews continue to work on repairs at Scott Boulevard and Clairemont Ave.  As such, traffic is attempting to divert around it, resulting in full-on traffic jams on neighborhood streets, like this one on Superior Avenue in the Great Lakes. (FYI – Decatur PD was on the scene)

We’re into day 2 of recovery from Hurricane Irma.  Obviously there are many who have suffered much worse in the Irma’s wake.  Thank goodness most area grocery stores have reopened and that MARTA is back up and running, so many of our problems at this point are limited to inconvience.

Just one man’s account as a way to distract himself from the fact that he still doesn’t have power.

How are the rest of you all faring?

Fallen Tree Damage at the Solarium in Oakhurst

UPDATE: Another pic – this time from Gary – of the damage outside of Snap Fitness in Oakhurst.  Multiple cars under trees.  Decatur commissioner Patti Garrett says that word is that these trees will be cut up tomorrow.

Kathy sent in a couple pics of the damage from trees down at the Solarium in Oakhurst.  One more after the jump.

Continue reading “Fallen Tree Damage at the Solarium in Oakhurst”