Homes, fire station damaged in Atlanta

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ATLANTA – Jackson Township firefighters at Station 56 in Atlanta are typically called on to serve their neighbors in emergencies.

After a Sunday afternoon storm ripped through northern Hamilton County, the firefighters were themselves calling for help as part of the aluminum roof peeled off their building, leaving commanders to search for somewhere to park their trucks as they finished responding to other damage in the community, which was left partially in the dark by downed power lines.

“We do plan for these events,” said Deputy Fire Chief Chad Abel. “We prepped for them earlier today. The fire chief and I were discussing just what we were going to do in the event one of our buildings was damaged.”

To the west, the town’s Department of Public Works headquarters suffered similar damage.

To the east, just across those the railroad tracks, Tony Lemasters’ house showed the effects of the wind.

“It sounded like sticks breaking and trees breaking and glass,” said Lemasters as a flight of exterior steps to the second floor of his house were moved off their foundation.

Lemasters’ wind gauge topped out at 99 miles per hour.

“I’ve got four TVs in the house and all of them were on Fox 59. I was told to take cover in northern Hamilton County,” he said.

Just north of 296th Street, and a couple miles away, Don Dubenspeck rode out the storm in a travel trailer that was formerly parked inside a large pole barn.

When the wind cleared, the trailer stood though the cars and tractors inside the barn were buried in debris.

“Helluva road, like they always say,” said Dubenspeck. “Having the feeling it was hitting the side of the travel trailer…knowing things were going on.

“I can tell you I had no idea but it must be a damn good trailer.”