Lights out in the Foothills

Published 3:26 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Many Polk, Landrum residents lose power due to Sunday winds

TRYON — Sunday was an interesting weather day, beginning with extreme winds and ending with a super blood wolf moon and lunar eclipse.

The area woke up Sunday to high winds and, by a little after 9 a.m., many lost power.

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Downtown Tryon and Columbus were at one point without power, with the traffic lights in Tryon out for much of the day. Churches were also without power, with some still holding services despite the circumstances.

The town of Tryon sent out a message at 9:10 a.m., saying downtown Tryon was without power, causing all traffic lights to go out.

“Please use caution and treat all traffic lights as four-way stops until power is restored,” stated Tryon’s message.

At the peak of the outages, caused by numerous trees falling throughout the area, there were approximately 3,500 residences without power.

Heavy rain Saturday caused the ground to be saturated and the high winds toppled trees in many locations throughout Landrum, Lake Lanier and Polk County.

Polk County Emergency Services Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge said the primary concentration of power outages was in Tryon. There were also 900 Saluda residents without power Sunday and 200 in Columbus, he said.

“Fire and rescue departments responded to many trees down, some in power lines, some not,” Arledge said. “We had at least two trees fall onto structures. No injuries were found at either of these incidents. There was one tree that fell on a car. No injuries were reported there either.”

Arledge also said there was at least one rescue where a driver in a car was trapped by power lines. There were no injuries in that incident, Arledge said.

Several roads were closed short term, including U.S. 176 in Tryon near Country Club Road. Arledge said most road closures were short term until the power company could get there to move the lines.

Arledge also said there was a small brush fire that was caused by a downed power line Sunday night, but it did not spread.