April 15, 2007
Albany -- The much-anticipated storm system that we've been monitoring since before it killed two people in Texas made its arrival in South Georgia about 8:00 Saturday night.
We have reports of storm damage, possibly tornado damage in Western Lee County on Highway 32 West. The Sheriff's office confirms that trees are down and parts of that road are blocked. Homes in the western part of Lee County sustained some damage.
Albany got about two inches of rain-- sorely needed rain-- in a very brief period Saturday night.
The National Weather Service has issued tornado and thunderstorm warnings for several counties, but we did not get reports of tornadoes actually touching down.
Rain is badly needed in most of Georgia. The AP reports that 2,400 acres of forest land has burned due to wildfires because conditions are so dry.
Alan Dozier of the Georgia Forestry Commission says that one fire in northwestern Long County has burned 1600 acres despite the efforts of 130 firefighters. Strands of swamp dried out by a drought are making it hard to contain this fire because of the very dense growth.
The other fire, south of Hoboken in Brantley County, has burned 800 acres and it continues to ignite spots outside the control lines. Helicopters are trying to cool down flames that escape from both fires.
Both fires began Thursday. The likely cause for both is smoldering control burns, but the investigation continues.
Firefighters are hoping for rain, but if it doesn't come and the forecast high winds arrive into the region, Dozier says that authorities could ask other states and the National Guard for help.
The A.P. contributed to this report.