A tornado watch set to expire at 1 a.m. has been cancelled early by the National Weather Service.
The storm brought blinding rainfall, downed trees and power lines to the Augusta area, but no serious damage. Power outages were reported across the area, with more than 500 homes losing power in Aiken, according to South Carolina Electric & Gas.
As of 9 p.m., Georgia Power reported more than 15,000 outages statewide – nearly 4,000 in east Georgia, including Augusta.
In Lincoln County, the National Weather Service reported two “bow echos” were spotted on radar, indicating tornado activity, but no tornados were reported.
A vehicle hit a fallen tree on Horizon South Parkway in Grovetown this evening, according to Pam Tucker, the director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division.
She urged drivers to use caution. Downed trees and power lines have already been cleared on Sudan Drive and Tower Drive; Old Pearre Place; Tubman Road at Lion Road; Hardy McManus Road at Furys Ferry Road; and Washington Road and Clarks Hill Road.
“The wind is picking up in our area and we are starting to get reports of downed trees,” Tucker said earlier Wednesday.
The tornado watch area extended across five counties in east central Georgia and 18 counties in central South Carolina. Tonight’s storm was expected to bring winds of 15 to 25 mph and wind gusts up to 35 mph and 1 inch or more of rainfall.
Tucker said the rainfall combined with moist soil conditions is likely to produce heavy runoff and rapidly rising water on small creeks and streams and flooding in low-lying areas.
Because of the threat of severe weather, all after-school programs including athletic games and practices were canceled, the Richmond County School System announced.