0

Wicked winds
Gusts knock out power to nearly 1,000 customers

COVINGTON - High winds Wednesday resulted in power outages affecting nearly 1,000 customers in the city of Covington, Utilities Director Bill Meecham said.

Most of the outages were caused by downed trees, Meecham said.

"Around lunchtime, we began to rock and roll with the wind a bit," he said.

About 500 customers in the Brown Bridge Road area lost power when a tree toppled near Riverstone Subdivision. Another 300 customers on the west side of town plus about 100 on the east side of town experienced outages, Meecham said.

By 2 p.m., most customers had been restored to power, though calls were still coming in, he said.

"I think trees are coming down easily because we've had a good bit of rain lately," Meecham said, noting that the roots have been weakened by the drought and the rain is softening the ground.

Meecham said he had not had any reports of significant damage to homes.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Covington, estimating winds could reach up to 30 mph Wednesday afternoon. Winds were expected to calm down to 5 to 10 mph by Wednesday night, but could get up to 25 mph today, the Weather Service reported.

There were no outages Tuesday night, despite a tornado watch in effect for Covington and most of northeast Georgia.

"We're happy it happened during the day as opposed to night," Meecham said. "Repairs are easier to make, and we've got the staff already on duty."

Snapping Shoals EMC reported only a few outages in Newton County. A spokeswoman said the majority of trouble was in Ellenwood, where 4,000 customers lost power due to rough winds.

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