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Storm’s toll in CSRA: Downed trees, wrecks and delayed baseball

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:18 AM EDT|Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 3:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Trees toppled and vehicles crashed as storms moved through the CSRA, disappointing baseball fans who’d turned out for the GreenJackets’ opening night at SRP Park.

It all happened as relentless wind and rain kept pummeling much of the southeastern United States. Outside the CSRA, the storms spawned tornadoes, sparked a flash-flood emergency in Alabama and damaged homes from Texas to Virginia.

In the CSRA

The latest storm began blowing through the CSRA around rush hour Tuesday afternoon. At Daniel Field in Augusta, a 44 mph gust was reported.

Aside from drenching the ground that had already gotten a good soaking 24 hours earlier, the storm knocked down trees in several areas.

Among them:

  • In Beech Island, a tree was blocking the road at 422 Sheraton Drive, a power line was down, and a tree was blocking Williston Road at Woodcrest Drive.
  • In the Aiken area, the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported a tree down along Trolley Line road near Proud Pacer.
  • In Martinez, a witness reported trees down on Baston Road.
  • A tree was down on Crest Road in Edgefield County.

There were several traffic accidents in the area as the rain fell. Among them:

Although the rain had stopped falling by sunrise Wednesday, the traffic accidents continued, including:

On Tuesday night, the Augusta GreenJackets were ready to play ball after more than 600 days off the field at SRP Park in North Augusta. And fans were ready, too. But the weather didn’t cooperate.

Weather led to postponement of Tuesday’s game. Tonight will be opening night instead.

Looking ahead, a cold front will be moving through tonight and a few showers could form ahead of the front and move through the CSRA this afternoon/evening, but most of the area looks dry.

Partly cloudy skies are expected tonight with temperatures dropping to the upper 50s and low 60s by early Thursday.

Elsewhere in the South

Across the South, storms have prompted boat rescues and toppled trees and power lines.

Crews were preparing to continue cleaning up debris and assessing destruction across the region early Wednesday, as some schools canceled classes or moved them online due to damage on campuses and surrounding areas.

The National Weather Service’s prediction center warned Wednesday morning that flash flooding could also now affect the Central Gulf Coast with storms shifting southeast and rain continuing to soak much of the region.

The storms have been responsible for at least three deaths and dozens of injuries this week, and more than 242,500 customers were without power from Texas to Maryland early Wednesday, including about 90,000 in Alabama, about 80,900 in Mississippi, about 28,800 in Georgia and about 25,700 in Virginia, according to poweroutage.us.

Torrential rains near Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday, dumped at least 5 inches of water as another 2 inches were possible before the storm system continued eastward, according to the National Weather Service there.

Jefferson County Emergency Management officials in the Birmingham area urged residents to stay off the roads because so many were flooded. In the Birmingham suburb of Homewood, fire department rescuers in a small boat paddled past submerged cars in a parking lot, slowly removing more than a dozen people from the waters surrounding an apartment complex.

Strong winds blowing behind a line of storms were toppling trees across central Alabama, where soil was saturated with water. The National Weather Service in Birmingham said late Tuesday it planned to send two crews to Greene and Tuscaloosa Counties to assess wind and possible tornado damage from storms that started Sunday.

Strong winds and heavy rain whipped through Mississippi’s capital city of Jackson late Tuesday while thunder rattled windows. The high winds cracked some limbs off trees and sent them onto nearby houses. The storms left streets littered with branches and leaves.

At least eight people were injured when storms that brought tornadoes to Texas flipped tractor-trailers on an interstate and damaged structures.

In Tennessee, at least 11 counties were hit by possible EF-0 tornadoes, according to an official with the National Weather Service in Nashville. A tornado that struck Virginia’s Northumberland County near the Chesapeake Bay destroyed one home and severely damaged a few others Monday.

On Monday, tornadoes also touched down in South Carolina and southern Kentucky while a possible tornado hit West Virginia.

In Mississippi, forecasters confirmed 12 tornadoes Sunday evening and night, including the Yazoo City twister, which stretched for 30 miles (50 kilometers), and another tornado that moved through suburbs south of Jackson, producing a damage track 1,000 yards (910 meters) wide.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and The Associated Press