Winds cut power to almost 1,800 in Polk County

Published 1:34 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2008

&bsp;High winds Sunday and Monday knocked out power to about 1,760 Polk County customers, including Sunny View School.

The school was closed yesterday because of a power outage at both power companies that supply the school, Duke Energy and Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation (REMC). Without power, Sunny View School is also without water since the school is on a well system.

Polk County Schools Supt. Bill Miller said power went out at Sunny View School around 4 a.m. Monday and officials decided to close the school for the day around 7:15 a.m., sending the message out through the school&squo;s automated call system.

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School officials are considering whether Monday needs to be made up because there are only three weeks left of school and all other county schools were open yesterday.

A tree fell on a house on Blanton Street in Columbus. The resident was reportedly not injured.

Local emergency officials also responded to numerous reports of trees and branches blocking roads. One such incident stopped traffic on westbound I-26 on Sunday around 7 p.m. Both lanes of traffic were halted and traffic backed up for miles until a tree was removed.

At Bright&squo;s Creek Golf Community, tents set up in preparation for the BMW Charity Pro-Am this week, were blown over.

Duke Energy says 261 of its Polk customers were out of power yesterday, and approximately 1,500 REMC customers were out of power in Polk County.

According to the REMC operations department, most of their outages in the Polk/Rutherford County area occurred in Polk County. By around 11 a.m. yesterday, REMC still had about 642 customers without power in Polk County, but officials said that should have all been restored by 3 p.m. yesterday. Most of REMC&squo;s outages in Polk County were on Holbert&squo;s Cove Road, Silver Creek Road, the Bill&squo;s Creek area and near Tryon. REMC had 15 crews working yesterday morning to restore power and officials said they were repairing four broken poles in the Polk County area.

Duke Energy had about 4,500 customers out of power in Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties Monday morning. There were 444 Spartanburg County, S.C. Duke Energy customers without power yesterday and 119 customers without power in Greenville County, S.C.

The high winds were caused by a weather system that killed at least 22 people in Missouri, Oklahoma and Georgia on Saturday. High winds were expected to continue through yesterday.&bsp;