Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Thousands of people in the area are in the dark after severe thunderstorms pound the area, knocking out power on both sides of the river. There have been reports of heavy rain, hail, lightning, and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. Callers are reporting downed trees and power lines.
Georgia Power crews have been across the region throughout the night working to restore power. Georgia Power tells News 12 that as of 10 a.m. they have about 19,000 customers without power in Augusta, Evans, and Thomson area. They expect the majority of power restoration to be back by midnight Friday night. SCE&G says they have about 820 customers in the dark this morning in South Carolina. Jefferson Electric tells us about 1,966 of their confirmed customers are without power. Jefferson Electric is focusing on the main power lines at this time.
Georgia Power crews are in Grovetown working on several outages. Our News 12 crew on the scene says most of the roads are experiencing power outages there. Columbia County Dispatch says they have traffic signals malfunctioning across the county, as well as downed power lines.
In Augusta, a 73-year-old woman has branches blocking her porch after a tree fell onto a house, fence, and a roof. Sandra Jubilee says she was afraid someone was breaking into her house when it crashed down.
"The dog came back running to me scared!," she said. "So I got up and went to the back. and i didn't know what was happening--I heard a big bangin' and boomin' and...I was just afraid. i was really afraid."
Deputies spent several hours Wednesday night directing traffic along Washington Road. Power was out from Fury's Ferry Road to Bobby Jones Expressway.
The lights at the intersection of Wrightsboro Road and Harlem-Grovetown Road were down due to the storm.
Also in Columbia County, Pam Tucker, Columbia County Emergency Management director reports: there was a brush fire at Woodbridge. At Davis Road a transformer was down and there was a small fire. Trees down on North Belair Road at Wife Saver, on Gibbs Road and in Pheasant Run. Power lines were down on Fury's Ferry at Bridlewood. The roadway at Owens Road and Washington Road was blocked. There were reports of hail in Appling.
CSX crews were out at Stephens Creek Road and Riverwatch Parkway working on the railroad crossing. The crew tells News 12 heavy wind and possible lightning caused the arm-guard to malfunction.
In Downtown Augusta, a large tree fell down on Broad Street near East Boundary. A part of Reynolds Street, going from 10th Street to 13th Street, was closed after a fence blew into the roadway. A tree left a hole in a house on 2nd Street and Greene Street. News 12 is told no one was injured.
In North Augusta, a large tree came down near the entrance of The Rapids subdivision on Martintown Road. It partially blocked the only way in and out of the neighborhood. News 12 crews also noticed that a traffic signal nearby was out.