Area now under severe thunderstorm watch

Area tornado warnings and watches issued earlier tonight have expired, leaving the Augusta area under a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, the watch includes Burke, McDuffie, Columbia and Richmond counties.

So far, there have been no reports of any major damage throughout the Augusta area, but the National Weather Service did receive an earlier report of a possible funnel cloud touchdown in Wilkes County. A dispatcher for the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department said she had only heard of some trees being downed there, and she wasn’t aware if there had been a tornado.

Dave Schuetrum, of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, said someone from his office would be sent Thursday to survey areas in Richmond, Columbia and Lincoln counties. He said someone from the weather service’s Atlanta office would likely visit Wilkes County on Thursday for an after-storm assessment there.

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