Thousands of homes and businesses in Liberty and Long counties lost power during Monday’s sudden thunderstorms, according to Greg Davis, dispatcher with Canoochee Electric Membership Corporation, and John Kraft, spokesman for Georgia Power.
Affects of the storms were not limited to power outages, however. The Liberty County Fire Department responded to a fire at 806 Forest Str. on Monday afternoon when a limb fell on a transformer, causing sparks and a small fire. A large branch from an oak tree fell on a parked vehicle and power lines on Ryon Avenue.
The Hinesville Police Department assisted Georgia Power by re-directing traffic while the debris was being cleared and repairs were made to power lines. Law-enforcement officers were especially busy directing traffic where power outages had shut down traffic lights.
Monday’s storms also brought golf-ball-size hailstones that pounded Fort Stewart and downtown Hinesville. Although tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service, there were no confirmed funnels, according to Larry Logan, assistant director of the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency.
“There were no confirmed tornado sightings,” Logan reiterated. “The ground was saturated, but we also had some very strong winds, which together caused a lot of trees to fall.”
Davis said Long County had power outages along Highway 84 that were caused by downed limbs. He said power was restored to most customers within a few hours.
“We had about 3,900 customers (in Liberty County) without power at some point during the day (on Monday),” said Kraft. “We didn’t have that many (local) customers without power at any one time, although about 3,200 customers in the whole coastal region (Brunswick to Savannah) were without power during the peak period of the storms.”
Kraft said a few of the outages were caused by lightning. He said he suspected some of the limbs were possibly broken off when Tropical Storm Beryl came through week but stuck in the trees.
With weather reports that severe thunderstorm could be part of the weather pattern for several days, residents are advised to stay away from down power lines. To report outages, call 1-888-891-0938.