UPDATE: Storms bring downed trees, power outages to CSRA

From Christy Sparks in Aiken
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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013

MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Heavy rain and strong winds pounded the Southeast all day long. As it moved into our area, it started with just some pretty bad winds early in the afternoon, but when the rain hit, it hit hard.

"We see a lot of downed trees on power lines, we see trees laying across roads," said Chief Danny Cason with the Dearing Fire Department.

Chief Cason, his department and Georgia Power crews spent the night cleaning up damage caused by a downed power line. They are a common sight during storms like this.

"You don't ever know until GA Power gets on the scene the best thing to do is stay away from it because you don't ever know if it's live or hot," said Chief Cason. "Unless you're certified in power, stay away from it."

Hundreds were without power as crews all over the area worked to get the lights back on.

"They need to be cautious and patient that Georgia Power is working on it," Cason said. "In the bad weather, they're out here working on it trying to get it fixed."

The storms also knocked down trees, closing roads and damaging property.

"All of a sudden I hear a loud pop," said News 12's newest reporter Patrick Price.

Price saw the damage firsthand as a tree smashed through his fence and into his car windshield.

"I thought it was lightning or thunder, but I came outside and I saw a tree had fallen outside and damaged my windshield," he said.

Cason says trees are one of the biggest dangers in severe weather, so everyone needs to take extra precaution.

"People traveling down the road at night need to slow down because the roads are slick, they could come across a tree and run into it and have a crash before they realize it," Cason said.

Georgia Power is reporting around 9,600 customers are without power statewide as of 3:45 a.m. Wednesday. Luckily, the major damage in our area is just a lot of downed trees and power lines. There are still a lot of hazards out on the roads, so if you are out, just make sure you're being safe.

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