As a second round of dangerous weather moved into Polk County Wednesday evening, several hundred Rockmart customers remained in the dark.
Most of the Goodyear Village neighborhood of Rockmart, more than 300 homes, lost power when the first wave of a massive storm front came through around 8:35 a.m. A Georgia Power Co. crew from Carrollton was on the scene by 7 p.m., but the repairmen said the damage would take several hours to correct.
A tree took out three main transmission lines, they explained. Power to the neighborhood was not expected to be restored until early Thursday morning, at the soonest.
Goodyear Village residents were using the last hours of light to chat outside and make storm plans.
"We're just enjoying this cool breeze," David Smith joked, as the wind began picking up.
His daughter, Renee Smith, said the family had an interior closet of their home cleaned out and ready to use as a tornado shelter if the weather got very bad.
Neighbor Mabel Dawkins said she and her husband, Slim, had an interior hallway picked out as their tornado refuge. But they were hopeful the worst weather would bypass Rockmart.
Neighbor Billy Rowell, of 243 Lynchfield St., said his son called from Birmingham, Ala. around 6:30 p.m. to report that his area was hit hard for a second time Wednesday evening. A suspected tornado came through and downed several trees.
"He had to cut his way out (through trees) to get out of his driveway," Rowell said.
Nearby, Scott Fennell and his son, Ben Fennell, were taking turns practicing guitar chords on the front porch of their home at 2003 1st Ave.
Fennell said they were anxiously waiting for their power to be restored, but understood that it would take some time.
"I know the Georgia Power guys are working as hard as they can," Scott Fennell said.
Rockmart residents began moving inside as dusk began turning into night early, around 7:55 p.m.
Thick cloud cover blackened the sky and already brisk winds picked up. Lightning and thunder could be seen in the distance.
At 8:16 p.m., Rockmart's tornado siren began sounding. It cut off around 8:20 p.m., but began sounding anew at 8:30 p.m.
By 8:35 p.m., the weather system appeared to have died down somewhat.
Employees of the Rockmart Wal-Mart who were scheduled to leave during the time that the storm moved in were asked to remain indoors until the danger had passed.
A tornado warning remained in effect until 9:15 p.m. A wind advisory was also in effect.
The National Weather Service extended its tornado watch to 2 a.m.
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