Liberty County residents woke to nearly freezing temperatures Friday morning, according to Larry Logan, assistant director of Liberty County Emergency Management Agency.
Although Georgia Power and Coastal Electric Membership Corporation reported some power outages, Logan said his office had not received any reports of serious wind damage.
“We’ve not gotten any reports of structural damage or even any trees down,” he said. “We were expecting wind gust up to 25 or 30 mph, so we know the wind could have caused some damage, but apparently there was nothing serious enough to report to us.”
He said damages could have been much worse if the below-freezing forecast for Thursday night had been correct. Freezing temperatures atop of two days’ rain would have created icy conditions on roads and probably would have brought down more trees and limbs.
Logan said he and director Mike Hodges would continue checking with their local sources to verify if any trees were down or homes damaged.
A drive around downtown Hinesville Friday morning revealed scattered debris — mostly Spanish moss, trash and dead tree limbs in the streets and on sidewalks. Several trash cans were turned over, though most were empty. The few that were overflowing with garbage were picked up by
9 a.m. A single, dead pine tree had fallen across a chain-link fence into a yard, where it broke into three large sections. The fence was damaged, but the house it fell next to was spared.
Unsubstantiated reports from eastern Liberty County noted more extensive wind damage, including uprooted trees and fallen limbs, some big enough to bring down power lines. Coastal EMC dispatcher Ben Liddic confirmed there had been power outages near Isle of Wight and other coastal communities.
“Everybody’s power has been restored as of 8 a.m.,” Liddic said. “We’re still trying to put together all the outage reports, so we don’t know the total number. Right now, we don’t know how many customers lost power or what time last night the outages occurred. We can say, though, no one is without power now.”
Liddic said Coastal EMC knew there was a possibility of a windstorm that might cause some damages, and it was prepared to react to reports of outages.
Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft also could not say how many of its Liberty County customers lost power Thursday. However, he was able to determine how many customers remained without power as of 9 a.m. Friday and report the general area in Hinesville where the outages were.
“We still have 12 customers without power right now,” Kraft said. “It looks like these outages are located near East Oglethorpe (Highway) and Sandy Run (Drive). I don’t know how many outages there were during the night. I suspect the large majority of outages were caused by trees and large tree limbs, but large clumps of wet moss on power lines and (transformers) can cause power failures too.”
Kraft said the likelihood of moss causing outages was remote but still possible. He said he did not have any verification of large uprooted or fallen trees.