A microburst between 2 and 3 a.m., left debris littered across much of the Appling and Winfield areas near Thurmond Lake, said Pam Tucker, the director of the Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division.
The microburst, an intense downdraft, downed trees and power lines. Some residents reported quarter-sized hail.
"All of the downed trees are laying in the same direction, indicating the microburst and not a tornado," Tucker said in an e-mail early Monday morning.
"However, the howling fierceness of the wind in a microburst is very much like a tornado ... just in a straight line."
Lillian Tankersley, who lives on Washington Road near Ray Owens Road, said she woke to thunder and lightning but went back to sleep.
"I slept through it all, and I'm glad I did," Tankersley said.
She later found several trees and limbs down around her property. The top of a tree landed on her truck, damaging the hood, windshield and mirrors.
But Tankersley said she felt fortunate.
"It was kind of tough," she said after assessing the damage. "But I'm blessed that nothing hit the house. I'm blessed."
Other residents were not so lucky.
Winds blew a large pine tree onto a home on Old Lincolnton Road, and trees fell onto several vehicles. No injuries were reported, Tucker said.
The winds and fallen trees broke or damaged power poles and lines. Residents in the area remain without power while crews work to repair the equipment and restore power.
Columbia County Roads and Bridges crews worked through the early morning to clear the roadway, Tucker said.