Storms ravage CSRA; one dead after fallen tree traps five

July 11, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---StormTeam 12's Live Triple Doppler radar tracked a huge storm system across the Augusta area this afternoon. The mass of thunderstorms moved roughly east across the CSRA, and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in several counties.

One killed when fallen tree traps group

One person is dead after five people were trapped inside an Augusta corner store when a tree fell on it during the storms.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says a tree fell onto a house at 11th and Dugas streets in downtown Augusta, causing it to collapse. The structure houses a store.

Two people escaped almost immediately. News 12 crews witnessed two others being rescued some time later, including a young teenage boy. 40-year-old Robert Walker of Harrison Street was killed.

Click here for an updated story about the man who was killed.

Click here for the story of a man who was trapped in the building, but survived.

Power Outages

The Stapleton area in Jefferson County and the Brown Road area in Richmond County suffered power outages, affecting approximately three thousand Jefferson Energy Cooperative customers.

11,000 Georgia Power customers were without power. Augusta had widespread outages, but some customers in Evans and Martinez were also affected. The company says there were 175 "events", everything from lightning to trees falling on power lines, in our area.

Fallen Trees and Traffic Problems

Viewer Torri reported two fallen trees in the area of Fat Man's Forest on Laney-Walker Boulevard. Torri says one tree was struck by lightning and fell into the road, blocking traffic both ways, while another tree fell on a parked vehicle in the Fat Man's parking lot.

Columbia County emergency services director Pam Tucker told News 12 that traffic on Washington Road towards Appling was backed up due to an accident on Knob Hill Farm Road. Tucker also said traffic signals were out at Columbia Road at Belair Road, Riverwatch Parkway at Pleasant Home Road, and Hereford Farm Road at Gibbs Road.

Columbia County residents reported a tree falling onto a power line in front of Adventure Crossing on Wheeler Road.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol reported trees in the road in the following areas:

Aiken County: SC 302 at Coleman Bridge Road, Talatha Church Road at Whiskey Road, Main Drive at Highway 302,

Bamberg County: Highway 321 south in Bamberg County in front of the golf course, Highway 601 at the Cope Energy Plant, Voorhies Convenge at Highway 301, Highway 78 east of Bamberg.

Orangeburg County: SC39 at Highway 37, I-26 west at mile marker 154, Golf Avenue at Mingle Street near Howard School, St. Matthews Road at Essex Drive, Goldstein Road at Highway 301.

SCHP also reported several traffic hazards throughout our area, and lines down on Cordova Road in Orangeburg County.

An accident with injuries was also reported on SC 33 at the bypass in Orangeburg County.

Several accidents without injuries were reported in Aiken County that may have been related to the weather. These included accidents on Wire Road at US 1, on Boardman off Whiskey Road, on Powder House Road at Whiskey Road, on I-20 westbound between mile markers 34 and 35, on Silver Bluff Road in Plantation, and on Whiskey Road at Doughtery Road.

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