Storm knocks down trees, takes out power, spurs tornado warning

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:25 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 4:33 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A thunderstorm knocked down trees and took out power, causing wind damage across the CSRA and spawning possible tornadoes in South Carolina and Burke County.

The National Weather Service is investigating several potential tornado paths from Wednesday’s storm:

  • From Johnston in Edgefield County through Saluda County and into western Lexington County. Law enforcement spotted this tornado near Highway 23 heading toward Batesburg. On radar, the tornado appeared to dissipate, and emergency crews were sent to the area to look for damage.
  • A path from Elko in Barnwell County to Norway in Orangeburg County.
  • A path from near Wagener in Aiken County to Woodford in Orangeburg County, plus another one starting nearby and extending farther to the northeast.
  • A path along Interstate 20 in Lexington County, plus another one just to the southeast.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office said it believes a tornado touched down near the Richmond County line, where officers reported trees down on houses and on power lines.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office reported a “path of destruction” from Story Mill Road north across Greiner Circle, Highway 25, McManus Road and over to Highway 56.

At the scene, it definitely looked like a path – showing as a line across Highway 25 and Old Waynesboro Road and through the woods.


Deputies said no injuries were reported, and they were working with other first responders to clear roads and assess damage.

In Aiken, a large tree toppled over onto a house at 835 Boardman Road, smashing much of the second floor of the historic-looking home.

And also in Aiken County, the Salley Pavilion collapsed in the storm, according to authorities.


In Richmond County, trees were reported down along Winter Avenue in the Hephzibah area, and a large pine tree fell across the roadway at Joyce Street and Kissingbower Road in Augusta.

A personal weather station in Richmond County recorded a 59 mph gust.


In Sandersville, photos showed toppled pine trees that were broken off at the trunk, with splintered upper limbs.

Washington County deputies reported damage along Highway 540 between Deepstep Road and Linton Road. A roof was taken off a house, a house had a tree on it and an 18-wheeler rolled over, according to deputies.

“Power lines and trees are down in these areas from the storm,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Please do not try to navigate these areas unnecessarily until these areas can be cleared by emergency personnel.”

Damage was also reported in Jefferson County at Stapletons Crossroads, and there was wind damage a mile north-northwest of Sandersville.


Power outages

Some big outages in Augusta left thousands without electricity for a time, according to Georgia Power.

More than 1,110 customers were without power in the Pine Valley neighborhood along Milledgeville Road. Also, about 380 customers were without power in an area around Pendleton King Park.

The outages extended into the night.

View the Georgia Power outage map at

About 1,000 Jefferson Energy customers lacked power for a time, but by 9:40 p.m., crews restored power to all members.

View the Jefferson Energy outage map at

In Washington County, the power went out at T.J. Elder Middle School.

“All students and staff are safe and we are following the school safety plan,” the school district said in a statement. The school day was expected to continue.

Severed weather on Jan. 4, 2023, blew this mobile home off its foundation in Blackville.
Severed weather on Jan. 4, 2023, blew this mobile home off its foundation in Blackville.(Contributed)