Storm Winds Cause Extensive Damage
Heavy rain and high winds caused damages in southeast Georgia late Monday afternoon, authorities reported.
Extensive damage was reported in Jamestown and surrounding neighborhoods, the result of what was “likely just a severe thunderstorm,” said Jonathan Daniell, Ware County Emergency Management Agency director.
Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal described the wind conditions as a possible microburst. He said his department, Ware County Fire and Rescue and three power companies answered “a lot of calls” to property where there with trees and power lines downed.
Royal said trees and lines and even power poles were knocked down by storm winds in numerous locations: East Waring Street at Dorothy Street, Jamestown Road at Devandrene Avenue, Gorman Road at Cherokee Street (“a major one with groups of high voltage lines”), on Church Street Extension, on Walker Road in the Gilchrist Park area and on Needham Road.
Royal said the calls started coming into 9-1-1 at 4:42 p.m. Monday with the first incident involving a tree limb falling through the roof of a house on Elaine Avenue, near Wacona Elementary School, slicing through the kitchen ceiling and landing on top of a refrigerator. Nobody was injured, Royal said.
The calls came in after that thick and fast, “inundating the 9-1-1 center,” Royal said. The sheriff had to hold his day crew over, call in the night shift deputies early and even pressed administrative staff into emergency duty.
“Ware County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene of power lines down that were sparking,” the sheriff said. “Georgia Power, Satilla REA and Slash Pine REA, out of Homerville, responded to restore power, but many residents were without power for hours last night.”
At Dorothy and East Waring, on-duty and off-duty deputies used departmental and personal chain saws to cut up a tree that was blocking the road, Royal said.
Trees were downed at Alma Highway at Devandrene Avenue, Alma Highway at Airport Road and Blue Heron Road at Meadowood Lane, Royal said.
In Pierce County, Sheriff Ramsey Bennett said the results of the storm were a “few lights out and a few limbs down but no heavy damage that I’m aware of.”
Blackshear Police Chief Chris Wright said a tree fell and struck the service line to a residence there, causing minor damage when the line pulled off the house.
Daniell said there was likely to be more rain today and that severe thunderstorms are possible.
Royal gave props to the many who joined in the effort in Ware County.
“I am grateful to the men and women who worked tirelessly last night to insure that citizens were protected and served,” Royal said. He included in his thanks the county road department crews that did tree removal. “I’m grateful to the power companies for responding so quickly to our call for assistance.”
Daniell didn’t have much to add to the sheriff’s report.
“We had at least a couple of inches of rain in some areas, less in some and maybe more in others,” Daniell said. “There was some minor flooding, as in some parts of Waycross where heavy rain always causes flooding.”