Originally created 06/13/06

Strong storm makes quick strike



A powerful but brief thunderstorm that moved through the Augusta area Monday evening brought heavy rain and winds that downed numerous trees and power lines in parts of Columbia County.

More than 1,000 Georgia Power customers were without power as the storm moved through the area between 7 and 9 p.m., said John Sell, a Georgia Power spokesman.

About 500 of those were without electrical power, primarily in the Appling community.

A small number of outages were reported in parts of Richmond County and Grovetown, Mr. Sell said.

Power was to have been restored to all customers by 11 p.m., Mr. Sell said.

Pam Tucker, Columbia County's emergency services director, said the storm downed trees in the Leah area near Thurmond Lake and also toppled trees and power lines in western portions of the county.

She said no injuries were reported.

A downed tree reportedly blocked Washington Road on both sides of Keg Creek Bridge at the lake. Another downed tree was reported at Ray Owens and Ridge roads.

Mrs. Tucker said the storm was likely packing winds in excess of 60 mph. She said in an e-mail that swirling clouds were reported in the county's Knob Hill subdivision but that no tornado was detected.

"It's one of those small but powerful storms," she said. "And those are the worst."

As Tropical Storm Alberto moves inland from the panhandle of Florida, the National Weather Service has predicted a 50 percent chance of rain this morning for the Augusta area and a 60 percent chance of precipitation through the afternoon and into the night.

On Wednesday, there is a 50 percent chance of rain for the area.

Mike Proud, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C., said the Augusta area shouldn't receive severe weather and that, with Monday's rain, the area could receive about 1.25 inches through Wednesday.

"And we need the rain," Mrs. Tucker said. "So, hopefully, we'll get a little rain without any kind of severe weather from the tropical storm."

Staff Writer Timothy Cox contributed to this report.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.



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