Severe thunderstorm cuts power, rains debris

A brief but violent storm blew through the Augusta and Aiken areas Thursday evening, causing downed power lines and widespread debris from fallen tree limbs.

About 4,300 Georgia Power customers lost power during the storm, with the majority of the outages in Richmond and Columbia counties, company spokeswoman Carol Boatwright said. At least 2,500 people lost power in Aiken, Saluda and Barnwell counties, according to Rhonda O'Banion, of South Carolina Electric and Gas.

Richmond County dispatchers reported no injuries but said work crews had to respond to several downed power lines and trees. One of those was at the intersection of Broad and 13th streets, where a large limb smashed into a couple's car as they sat at a traffic light. The couple were unharmed but traffic was limited to one lane for several hours.

Wind speeds reached about 49 mph at Daniel Field, according to Dan Miller, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Columbia.

Several downed trees in North Augusta blocked traffic at Columbus Avenue and Pershing Drive and Womrath Road at Norman Street, according to North Augusta dispatchers.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.