Overnight storm brings down trees, causes power outages

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The storm brought down a tree on top of power lines and a vehicle on Melrose Lane in Tryon. (photo by Malia Ferguson)

After a volatile storm swept up to the Carolinas from Louisiana and Mississippi there have been numerous reports across Polk County and Upstate South Carolina of power outages and trees blocking roadways.
Duke Energy reported more than 250,000 customers across its service area without power overnight and into Tuesday morning. Wind gusts of 60-70-miles per hour and driving rain uprooted large trees, downed power poles and power lines.
Locally, most damage from the storm appears to have been concentrated in the Tryon area. Tuesday morning around 9 a.m. the Tryon Fire Department answered one call to Lyle Street and Melrose Lane, which were closed because a tree had fallen on a vehicle, pulling down power lines and blocking the road.
Other Tryon area roads blocked during the morning included Glenwalden Circle, Gunning Road, Chestnut Street and Capps Road, all from broken power lines caused by fallen trees and limbs.
Saluda officials reported no calls received about power outages or wind damage, and Polk County EMS officials said they had received a few calls about downed trees and power line problems.
Columbus fire chief Bobby Arledge said his department received several calls about fallen trees and power outages, including a tree that took power out in the Holly Hill neighborhood and power outages in Tryon Estates.
In South Carolina, power outages and fallen trees were reported in the Lake Lanier and Landrum areas, and some residents said the storm included large hail. A downed tree was also reportedly blocking the road in front of Jackson Grove Methodist Church.
Duke Energy officials said approximately 300 additional workers are traveling from the company’s Midwest service area to assist with Carolinas restoration efforts. In addition, the company is working with other utilities in the Southeast to secure additional crews to assist.
“While our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power, we also encourage members of the public to focus on their own personal safety,” said Jim Stanley, Duke Energy’s senior vice president for power delivery. “It is important to stay away from downed or sagging power lines. All lines, as well as trees or limbs in contact with the lines, should be considered energized, and dangerous.”

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