Storms claim at least 2 lives

Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:15 AM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 4:31 PM
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Two people were killed in Aiken County as a result of severe storms that swept through the Augusta area late Friday night.

Michael New of Aiken County Emergency Management said one person was killed when a tree fell on a truck near New Ellenton during the storm. Another person was killed when ejected from a vehicle near Windsor, he said.

He did not have the names of the victims.

The storm system wielding gusty winds, rain and lightning hit the Augusta area hard. Tornadoes were reported, but unconfirmed, near Harlem High School in Columbia County, in west Augusta near Bobby Jones Expressway and on Aiken-Augusta Highway in North Augusta and Clearwater, said Leonard Vaughn, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

Residents of Amara HealthCare are being evacuated due to damage to the nursing home on 2021 Scott Road in south Augusta. University Hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said shortly after 1 a.m. that the hospital was preparing to receive 32 patients being sent by bus. Ms. Sylvester said she did not know if any of the patients were injured.

Patients are being divided between area hospitals based on available bed space, she said.

The storm came through about 10:30 p.m. Friday.

“We believe the tornado began in Grovetown and moved to Augusta, then to Aiken,” Mr. Vaughn said. “A lot of the damage we won’t know about until Saturday.”

On Barton Chapel Road in south Augusta, about 30 homes were severely damaged, Augusta Fire Chief Howard Willis said. Some of the houses had lost roofs, he said.

Chief Willis was in the area about 1 a.m., directing firefighters as they went from door to door looking for injured. He said he was unaware of any injuries. Red Cross representatives were also in the area.

In Grovetown, three mobile homes were damaged, and Red Cross representatives were trying to provide shelter for the displaced residents.

A number of people in Aiken County were taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers and the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Mr. New said. He said U.S. Highway 278 from Atomic Road to Green Pond Road was impassable, with trees down all along the route.

In the Browns Road area of Harlem, power lines and close to a dozen trees were down, according to Columbia County sheriff's Deputy John Williams. There were no injuries, he said.

Deputy Williams said trees were down in a number of other areas, including Grovetown.

More than 11,000 homes were without power late Friday night in the Augusta area, said Georgia Power spokeswoman Lynn Wallace. More than 3,900 customers in Columbia County and 7,100 in Richmond County would not have power until early this morning.

Golf-ball-size hail, downed trees and power lines littered Grovetown, Appling and Evans, said Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker.

In Thomson, fallen trees and power lines damaged homes along Moose Club Road, according to McDuffie County 911 dispatchers. No injuries were reported, but a woman on Boneville Road near Dearing was briefly trapped in her home before being rescued. Crews from Georgia Power and Jefferson Electric Cooperative were working to restore power, and emergency crews helped residents remove cars from ditches and debris from yards.

In Aiken County, more than 2,300 customers were without power, according to spokeswoman Roxanne Argo of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

South Carolina Bureau Chief Preston Sparks and Morris News Service contributed to this story.

Comments (18) Add comment
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pizzato
3
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pizzato 04/10/09 - 08:56 pm
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If channel 12 keeps breaking

If channel 12 keeps breaking in on the ghost whisperer I'm gonna just go outside and pray for lightning to strike me. He is making the whole CSRA and every county within 60 miles look like idiots. I'm sure people from out of town are going to be cowering under the beds with pillows over their heads. This really sucks it amounts to our snow days and other bs they decide is so important. It's not even raining and I called a friend in Lincolnton who said it was drizzling and the wind was blowing. I know this is Accu Bobs last hurrah but will someone please guide him out of the weather room he is through.

ss30809
44
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ss30809 04/10/09 - 09:19 pm
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lol...who watches ghost

lol...who watches ghost whisperer.

easy breezy
14
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easy breezy 04/10/09 - 09:24 pm
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I love Bob Smith....quit

I love Bob Smith....quit hatin!!

workingmom
0
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workingmom 04/10/09 - 09:37 pm
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Hopefully, the storm will

Hopefully, the storm will pass quickly and give us some more rain and then clear up before morning.

pizzato
3
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pizzato 04/10/09 - 10:37 pm
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Well if the lightning or

Well if the lightning or tornados get me I will need ghost whisperer my own self. But that girl has a nice rack that I would like to "channel" myself into. Bob just can't replace the view with a weather alert. JMHO. I am prepared for whatever disaster strikes but please let me watch tv in peace without the interuption of a doom and gloom weather guess. I can sum it up that there is a 50-50 chance or tornados where you are so if you want to go hide then do so, I'm gonna take the 50% chance that a tornado won't hit me. Well now comcast is flaking out so I guess the underground fiber optics are down curse the weather man!

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 04/10/09 - 10:58 pm
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Not to mention the stupid

Not to mention the stupid things that break in on the tv, the emergency system thingy, came in 3 times with in 15 minutes and never even mentioned columbia county only SC counties until we were already getting pelted... wtg!!!

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 04/10/09 - 11:35 pm
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Channel 6 had a viewer say a

Channel 6 had a viewer say a funnel was seen on Fort Gordon, said he had a good vantage point, touched down. I'm glad I convinced my daughter and boyfriend to head here instead out Deans Bridge Road they would've been passing Fort Gordon about the time it was reported.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 04/10/09 - 11:40 pm
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Willistontownsc TAKE

Willistontownsc TAKE COVER!!!! People in house on Barton Chapel Road that was damaged by high winds are okay, just cuts reported at 11.37pm. Well, it's been an unusual Good Friday. Yikes, just heard an impressive strike/thunder. i hope willistontownsc takes cover. The tornadic storm cell was heading straight for williston, SC while I was watching the TV. It's blowing through fast, and some reports of golf ball size hail. It's not just one cell, they're watching a couple more that are still to the southwest of us heading east. If the bobble northeast, we might get grazed with one of those.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 04/10/09 - 11:42 pm
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Willistontownsc TAKE

Willistontownsc TAKE COVER!!!! People in house on Barton Chapel Road that was damaged by high winds are okay, just cuts reported at 11.37pm. Well, it's been an unusual Good Friday. Yikes, just heard an impressive strike/thunder. i hope willistontownsc takes cover. The tornadic storm cell was heading straight for williston, SC while I was watching the TV. It's blowing through fast, and some reports of golf ball size hail. It's not just one cell, they're watching a couple more that are still to the southwest of us heading east. If the bobble northeast, we might get grazed with one of those.

MrsBowman1985
0
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MrsBowman1985 04/11/09 - 12:00 am
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Ok, people seriously I think

Ok, people seriously I think lives being saved is so much more important than a television show..I have a 7 month old son and to my recollection a 9 week old and the infant's mother were both killed in TN by this same system..therefore its better to be safe than sorry and forgive me (the new Mommy) for being paranoid and not giving a crap what shows are interrupted...Im sure if you can logon here and nag about the show being interrupted you can also come online and watch episodes that youve missed..so please please consider for one second the people injured and people that could be injured if it werent for 100 percent coverage from a local station (no matter how stupid it may seem)..if it makes you that upset, then watch something else. My prayers are with everyone who may be affected by this system..I pray all of you and your families are safe (even your dogs and cats). By the way, no offense to anyone stating there opinions on here, I know thats what comments are for..which would explain why I am stating my own..

RogueKnight
210
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RogueKnight 04/11/09 - 12:05 am
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Pizzato, are you a Yankee?

Pizzato, are you a Yankee?

KSL
129802
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KSL 04/11/09 - 12:56 am
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How many people give storm

How many people give storm and wind patterns any consideration when choosing where to live? I would bet fewer than those who give flooding patterns. But still way too few.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 04/11/09 - 01:41 am
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I am ok, baroness. I am

I am ok, baroness. I am wondering about my 20-year-old brother, who lives on Pearl Lane and my cousins and my friends. I heard that there was a fatal accident on Charleston Highway.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 04/11/09 - 01:45 am
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And to your midnight post, I

And to your midnight post, I agree, MrsBowman. That is what I told my 15-year-old brother when he while he was playing a clan match on Call of Duty: World at War and he complained about lagging. That this was a life or death situation and that is why I was on WAGT's web page.

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 04/11/09 - 02:07 am
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Ok The weather has passed,

Ok The weather has passed, Time to get back to the REAL news! Who made the cut at the Masters? (Said in my most sarcastic voice possible)

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 04/11/09 - 06:15 am
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I'm with you pizzato, I never

I'm with you pizzato, I never miss Ghost Whisperer. They can just put the announcement across the screen, all that breaking in comcast and the weather man are doing is stupid. I wanna be informed as well, but give me a break.

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 04/11/09 - 06:16 am
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Sorry for the families of the

Sorry for the families of the lives lost..

Augustapaperdoll
0
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Augustapaperdoll 04/11/09 - 08:58 am
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Thank You MrsBowman1985 I bet

Thank You MrsBowman1985 I bet you would have missed Ghost Whispers if you had no power or if there was a tree across your home. What a jerk you must be.....

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