Winds topple trees
Power outages result from storm damage

COVINGTON - Strong winds uprooted trees and caused limbs to snap in scattered locations throughout Newton County on Monday, but public works crews said they had no reports of major property damage or injuries.

Newton County Public Works spent part of Monday afternoon cleaning up a stretch of River Cove Road, where seven trees fell into the roadway about 11:30 a.m.

"When the wind got up a little bit earlier today, it knocked seven trees down in the road. It's probably not through yet," Newton County Roads Superintendent Robert Griffith said early Monday afternoon.

Luckily, Griffith said the trees did not land on any passing vehicles.

Meanwhile, at Oxford City Hall, power still hadn't been restored after being out for more than four hours.

City Clerk Carol Poole reported a limb fell onto a power line about 10 a.m., taking out both the primary and back-up lines.

"We can still wait on customers. We just can't do anything on the computer," Poole said, noting that a public works crew and an electrician were working to restore power.

She said she believed the outage was restricted to City Hall and one nearby residence.

The head of the city of Covington Public Works Department had no major damage to report, though Utilities Director Bill Meecham said there have been several outages since Friday due to bad weather.

"Starting a little before lunch today, we've been running scattered area calls due to the wind. So far there have been no large areas," Meecham said.

The outage impacting the most customers occurred on Ga. Highway 36 south of Petty Street, where about 100 to 150 customers were without power for up to an hour. A few outages also occurred in the Covington Mill area, Old Atlanta Highway and around Alcovy Trestle Road, he said.

Outages on Friday were also reported due to a falling limb on Flat Shoals Road, affecting between 250 and 300 customers. Also, lightning caused an outage to around 40 customers, or about half the Hall Park subdivision on Ellis Road, and a few service lines were knocked down at homes by falling limbs, he said.

Snapping Shoals Spokeswoman Leigh-Anne Burgess said about 1,000 customers were out of power Monday, mostly in the Rockdale, Jackson Lake and Ellenwood service areas. Those outages, too, were due to trees falling on power lines.

On Friday and into Saturday morning, Snapping Shoals reported a total of 2,587 customers without power due to wind damage.

The National Weather Service predicted wind gusts of up to between 35 and 40 mph for north and central Georgia Monday, warning that trees and power lines would be at risk.

More rain was expected Monday night and into today, with winds expected to die down to about 20 mph.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.