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Clayton County residents angry about lack of power, shelters

1:56 AM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Parts of Clayton Co without power

Clayton Co. Fire Chief Landry Merkison

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Some homes in Clayton County were still without power Thursday night, more than 24 hours after the lights went out.

Crews were spotted in Riverdale Thursday cutting trees off of power lines.

Some Clayton County residents camped out wherever they could to find warmth, but it was not at a county warming station. Clayton County decided not to open any emergency shelters until a full day after the storm.

"That's just not right," said one resident. "They should have provided that."

At one point in the night, some 40 percent of the county was without power, a number Clayton County Fire Chief Landry Merkison says they could not plan for.

"This was a Biblical-once-every-10-years type (of) storm," he said.

Merkison says officials talked about opening warming shelters, but says they decided it was just too dangerous to have people on the roads.

"We understand our residents' frustration," Merkison said. "We feel their frustration."

And even though some Clayton County residents were going on 36 hours without power in the wake of the storm, Merkison says he would not have changed a thing. And that's a decision people there without power still disagree with.

"It's too cold," one resident said. "They have to do better than this."

Georgia Power said that 8,200 customers were without power in the metro Atlanta area on Thursday night. Clayton County had about 6,500 customers without power. They expected power to be restored to about 95 percent of customers by Friday night, and nearly all customers by midnight on Saturday.

Click here for a Georgia Power outage map.

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