Extreme heat creates strong thunderstorms with hail, wind

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A strong line of thunderstorms caused downed power lines, fallen trees and golfball-size hail in the Augusta area Sunday.

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Augusta Greenjackets players mill around on the field after their game against Savannah was delayed, and then eventually postponed, because of stormy weather in the area Sunday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Augusta Greenjackets players mill around on the field after their game against Savannah was delayed, and then eventually postponed, because of stormy weather in the area Sunday.

Most reports of damage were west of Augusta in Columbia, McDuffie and Lincoln counties. Georgia Power reported more than 6,000 outages at 6:40 p.m. in the three counties. By 10:45 p.m., 1,300 customers in Thomson, 384 in Evans and 357 in Augusta were still without power.

In McCormick County, S.C., nearly 1,100 SCE&G customers had no power.

Strong winds in downtown Augusta knocked down power lines causing traffic signals on Greene and Broad streets at Fourth and Fifth streets to stop working.

The storms were related to several days of extreme temperatures. Augusta’s high of 104 degrees Sunday broke the 102-degree record set in 1990. The unstable atmosphere and high humidity combined to create storms high in the atmosphere, said meteorologist Al Moore, of the Na­tional Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C..

In Columbia County, trees fell onto Ray Owens and Dozier roads and near the Keg Creek boat ramp, according to emergency management director Pam Tucker. Another fell on a power line on Louisville Road near the Greystone subdivision. Tucker said crews would be working this morning to remove trees along roads.

McDuffie County reported widespread damage, dispatcher Wendy Simons said.

Several Georgia cities broke temperature records Sunday. Atlanta reached 105 degrees, breaking a record of 99 degrees set in 1954. A 108-degree day in Athens beat the 1927 record by five degrees.

In Augusta, University Hospital treated four heat-related injuries over the weekend. A 59-year-old man was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Sunday for severe dehydration.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.


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