UPDATE: Tornado watch, wind advisory for Cobb Thursday

Jan. 12—Cobb County was placed under a tornado watch and wind advisory as a wall of thunderstorms swept across the Southeast Thursday afternoon.

The wind advisory was in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. as gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour were expected.

The tornado watch, meanwhile, was in effect until 7 p.m. The National Weather Service expected isolated hail and said a few tornados in the area between Montgomery, Alabama and Athens, including metro Atlanta.

County government reported at 3:40 p.m. that there were "reports of tree and storm damage from Austell through the Powder Springs area into Smyrna," and advised residents to avoid travel.

The storm system rolling east reached metro Atlanta in the late afternoon, bringing heavy rains and severe weather. The weather service expected Cobb to see half an inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain from the fast-moving storm. The county was also under an "elevated" tornado threat, the weather service said.

The city of Marietta said crews were at work Thursday morning to clear storm drains and trouble spots in anticipation of possible flooding. Marietta Power crews were standing by to respond to outages.

Both the Cobb County and Marietta school districts suspended after-school activities Thursday due to the weather, except for after school program (ASP).

In Austell, a warehouse on Oak Ridge Parkway was severely damaged, according to the county. Residents were asked to avoid travel in the Austell area around Blairs Bridge Road, Oak Ridge Parkway, and adjacent areas.

The city of Powder Springs said around 4:30 p.m. that Hopkins Road was blocked at Powder Springs Road due to a tree down. Traffic lights in the area were out due to power lines being down.

As of 5 p.m., Georgia Power reported 681 customers without power in Cobb, and nearly 49,000 customers without power across the state. By 6 p.m., the number of affected customers in Cobb had reduced to 531.