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Tornado warning lapses, damage minor
tree on car
A tree near the corner of Ryon Avenue and South Main snapped off and fell partial on a vehicle. The brunt of the tree missed the car. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

A tornado warning for the Hinesville area has lapsed, after the storm that prompted it brought strong winds, hail and rain.

Damage appeared to be isolated to some downed trees and limbs, and the accompanying downed power lines.

Hinesville Police officers and other emergency workers were stationed throughout the city, but mostly west Hinesville, directing traffic and keeping people away from the downed lines as Georgia Power Co. employees worked to restore power.

The National Weather Service's Charleston Office issued the warning just before 1:30. The advisory said meteorologists detected a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado nine miles west of Fort Stewart moving east at 45 mph.

And there were reports from the service of tornado-like activity appearing on their radars, one in the area of Liberty Regional Medical Center and another in the Fleming area, headed toward Midway.

Mike Hodges, director of the Liberty Emergency Management Agency, however, said he had not heard any reports of anyone seeing an actual funnel.

"At this point we think it's all just due to heavy winds," Hodges said of the damage.

The areas under the warning early in the storm were south central Bryan, central Liberty and north central Long. Cities include Fort Stewart, Hinesville, Flemington, McIntosh community and Midway. The brunt of the storm moved to southeast from here.

The Weather Service said a severe thunderstorm watch was cancelled in Liberty County at about 3:15. The storm warning continued into the evening. 

Hail, some stones reaching golf ball size, fell in downtown Hinesville around 1:30 as the front of the storm moved across the city. It lasted only a short time, however.

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