Storm rips through Sumter, and other counties - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Storm rips through Sumter, and other counties

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August 8, 2006

Sumter County-- High winds and heavy rain ripped through Southwest Georgia tonight leaving some people in the dark and widespread damage along the way. Some of the most extensive damage was left in Americus.  

Some people in Americus have begun a big cleanup process after Mother Nature gave them a surprise.  There were downed power lines, trees and limbs Tuesday night, people left staring and wondering what happened.

"All of a sudden the wind started, water was beating up against the window and I didn't know what was going on at the time," says Tom Sinnott.

"Some say it was a tornado," says Jerry Battle.

Whatever it was left a big mess in Americus.  Trees were uprooted from the ground with nowhere to land but on some people's houses. "It's out of the ground. It's like it picked it up and brought it down," says Amy Pooser.

Trees not only damaged houses, they also damaged cars.  The scene was the same all along Lake Jennifer Drive. "It's a lot of damage for both sides," says Sinnott.

For many people on both sides of the street, it all happened so quickly. Amy Pooser just arrived home and was outside when it started.

"Horrible, you can't describe it. It's just scary and horrible," says Pooser.

It was the same feeling a few houses down.  Jerry Battle was inside with his family.  They had to run for cover in another room. "We were looking out the window and trees started falling and one limb hit a window and broke the glass out," says Battle.

Now, two big trees are being removed from his roof, a noisy sign that the worst is over and the cleanup can begin. They're not sure how long it will last but they are sure of one thing.

"It bought us all together in the streets," says Battle. Everyone's thankful that the damage isn't any worse than it is and that no one was hurt.

"Very grateful. We're extremely grateful to have each other," says Pooser. But also certain, they'll all remember the heavy rain and wind that changed the face of their neighborhood so unexpectedly.

Sumter EMC responded fairly quickly to help get those lines repaired along the street. About 1000 Sumter EMC customers had power outages. They expected everyone to have power by midnight.

There was damage in other parts of south Georgia as well. Trees were knocked down and a mobile home was damaged in Colquitt County near Doerun. Power lines fell across a road in Baker County.

Winds knocked down numerous trees near the Patmus community close to Highwy 216 in northern Baker County. At least one tree fell on a truck.

The good news is we haven't heard any reports of injuries anywhere in south Georgia

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