Summer storms surprise Evans

Expect more of the same today

Strong thunderstorms dropped more than an inch of rain, toppled trees and blew down power lines Friday afternoon from Columbia County into South Carolina.


Meteorologists say more of the same can be expected today with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this morning and 40 percent chance this afternoon and evening.

About 6 p.m. Friday, radar at the National Weather Service showed the thunderstorm was capable of producing winds in excess of 60 mph.

Columbia County apparently took the full force of the storm, which dropped a tree onto a $38,000 truck parked outside a home on Bohler Drive and sparked a lightning fire that burned through the roof of a four-unit building at Ridge Crossing Apartments.

Herman Gonzalez was the owner of the 2008 Chevy Silverado on Bohler Drive.

"I was in the living room just watching TV," he said. "I heard this big brush against the house."

A tree in the front yard had split, probably after a lightning strike.

Part of the tree lay blocking the roadway. The other half fell across Gonzalez's truck, which had just been repaired after a fender bender.

"I'm no assessor, but I think it's totaled," he said.

Pea-sized hail fell in Evans, where about 1,300 Georgia Power customers lost power. A spokeswoman said Friday that the outage extended to about 2,500 people in eastern Georgia, but power was expected to be restored by about midnight Friday.

Howard Willis, the Richmond County emergency management director, reported some downed trees on Central Avenue but no damage.

South Carolina Electric & Gas experienced about 100 scattered outages, a spokesman said.