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Fans stunned by major storm that hit downtown Atlanta



Stunned fans are now pouring out of the Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome and a large, formal dental-convention reception at the World Congress Center, surveying the damage of a major storm that tore through downtown Atlanta, bringing wind, rain and hail.

Dozens of people have been reported injured, and nine have been taken to Grady Hospital.

Damaged cars and buildings in the busiest part of downtown Atlanta could be seen throughout the area that houses CNN, the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome.

Glass and debris are strewn all over Centennial Park, which sits in the heart of the area where the SEC tournament is being held. Billboards and metal signs and are strewn all over the street.

Lightning flashes continue and more severe weather is expected, which led to the postponement of the Georgia-Kentucky quarterfinal game of the SEC men's basketball tournament.

Mayor Shirley Franklin issued a statement urging people to stay away from downtown and allow emergency services personnel to do their jobs. Franklin was scheduled to hold a news conference at 1:15 a.m.

Downtown was expected to be bustling on Saturday, including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the SEC men's basketball tournament.

At about 1 a.m., SEC officials were still meeting with Georgia Dome staff trying to determine whether the extent of the damage will affect the tournament.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:24pm]


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