The Wright Perspective℠
Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠
A Blog by Gary Wright II
Atlanta is recovering after a strong storm destroys downtown
Saturday, March 15th, 2008
Downtown Atlanta looked like a war zone tonight following a strong storm (possibly a tornado) struck the city. The glass was blown out of many skyscraper windows and the streets were littered with office chairs, floor lamps, and other objects that were blown out of the surrounding buildings.
CNN had windows blown out of their newsroom and offices. Rain water was pouring into the atrium of the CNN center. The Omni hotel suffered lots of damage where you could see window blinds that had been shredded to pieces by the fierce wind. The underside of a walkway dropped away, but no one was injured. The Olympic park had extensive damage and billboards were twisted off of their giant poles. The windows were blown out of hundreds of cars.
The police roped off downtown to prevent injuries from falling sheets of glass. Large pieces of glass and insulation were still falling for several minutes after the storm had passed.
The scariest scene was at the Georgia Dome where a basketball tournament was being played. The storm put so much pressure against the roof that the scoreboard, catwalks, and other rigging were visibly swaying back and forth. The sights and sounds of the event caused the basketball players to stop playing where they looked at the roof in disbelief. The roof had lots of damage and one part of the roof was blown open where high winds were entering the arena.
There were several other large events going on at the time of the storm. As far as I know, there were no deaths and only minor injuries reported. If the storm had hit later then I truly believe that thousands of people would have died due to all of the falling glass. The people coming out of the stadiums just walked around outside in a state of shock.
When daylight comes, we will get a better assessment of the damages. For now I have to say that everyone in Atlanta really got lucky! It is going to take months to clean up and repair all of the damage. I really feel sorry for the crews who will have to replace all of the glass that was blown out of the skyscrapers. Broken glass and insulation is scattered everywhere, and if anyone is on the sidewalk they could be killed by falling shards of glass.
We have a big mess to clean up in Atlanta - but we were very, very lucky that there were no fatalities.
-- Gary Wright II