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Storms uproot trees, cut residents ' power

Two waves of severe thunderstorms left thousands in the area without electricity last week, and utility crews were still working Sunday to restore power.

On June 15, Jim Kilmer of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C., said, a 67 mph wind gust was recorded at Bush Field in Augusta at 9:12 p.m.

The high winds knocked out power to 2,700 Georgia Power customers in Thomson, according to company spokeswoman Christy Ihrig. Jefferson Energy Cooperative spokesman Steve Chalker said that the storm knocked out power to nearly 12,000 customers in its service area, mostly in McDuffie and Richmond counties.

He said that 250 customers were still without power Friday afternoon.

A second wave of storms came through the area Saturday night, knocking out power to 900 Georgia Power customers in Thomson and more than 2,000 in Jefferson Energy's service area, which includes McDuffie County. Jefferson Energy had no county-by-county breakdown.

Power was restored to customers of both utilities by Sunday, spokesmen said.

Saturday night's winds uprooted a large pine tree at the Poston home on Ponderosa Lane in Thomson.

"Basically the front porch has to be torn off and rebuilt," Jay Poston said.

Poston, president of Two State Construction Co. Inc., estimated the damage at $35,000.

Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell said firefighters were dispatched to eight sites the night of the June 15 storm. Most of the calls involved downed power lines, he said.

Johnny Mac Brown, who manages the Badcock Home Furniture & More distribution center in Thomson, said power was out there from 8:50 p.m. June 15 until 6:30 a.m. the next day, idling the 24 workers on the night shift. The distribution center serves about 90 stores.

Brown said he couldn't say how much the power outage cost in work hours.

"It was expensive; let's put it that way," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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