By Maria Boynton

A 74 year old man is dead following a fire at a home in DeKalb County. A family member, according to reports, identified the man as Wendell Bailey. Fire officials say they found his body on the second floor of the home located in the 2500 block of Appomattax Drive in Decatur. They say they received the fire call around 6:40 Wednesday morning. The reports also indicate that the man had been using candles since Monday, when Tropical Storm Irma impacted the area. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

According to Georgia Power’s Holly Crawford, more than 340,000 customers were without service in Georgia Wednesday morning. “We want to remind everybody, this is a little over 10,000 separate events our crews are going to have to visit to restore power”, said Crawford. Close to 100,000 of those customers were in metro Atlanta. Almost 60,000 of that number live in DeKalb County, which CEO Michael Thurmond says “was impacted in a much more significant way than other parts of metro Atlanta.” Power lines and trees were down across the area and schools remain closed for a third day. The DeKalb County CEO said, “We need help from our partners to recover from this catastrophic storm.” An additional 200,000 residents without power are members of the state’s electrical membership cooperatives.

Tropical Storm Irma, which tore through Florida as a major hurricane, before impacting the Atlanta area on Monday, is blamed for three other deaths in Georgia. Two people died in metro Atlanta when they were crushed by trees. The other was in Worth County, which is located in the southern portion of the state.

Hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing areas in the path of Irma, sought refuge in Atlanta. Governor Nathan Deal urged them to remain in Georgia until the “all clear” had been given for their return home.

As of Wednesday morning, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil said they were up and running as normal. “We’re dealing with any possible cancellations or delays due mainly to the closed airports in the Caribbean and those that are still getting up and running in Florida.” Gobeil said that air passengers should continue to monitor their airline’s communication channels. “It’s just so they know if there are any last-minute changes, if there are any alterations to their plans, so that they are prepared and they know the best time to arrive at the airport”, said Gobeil.


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