COVINGTON — Downed trees and flash flooding plagued Newton County Wednesday night following a storm that brought high winds and torrential rain between 7 and 9 p.m., according to Jody Nolan, deputy director for Newton County Emergency/Risk Management.
“There were a couple of trees that were down. It was very widespread. There really wasn’t any significant storm damage,” he said, adding that the biggest danger came from multiple auto accidents during the storm.
Nolan said there were a few trees blocking roadways due to the high winds — one tree that was “hanging low” around Salem Cove off Salem Road and a tree was down at Newton Factory Bridge and McDonald Road.
“Due to the heavy rain and flash flooding we had a truck that went through the Landfill on Lower River Road,” he said. “People should use extreme caution when driving in these storms.”
Nolan said multiple reports of flash flooding came in to 911 dispatchers, including water across the road at Meadow Brook Mobile Home Park on Ga. Highway 142 and on Dixie Road near U.S. Highway 278.
“There was standing water from the intense rain that fell in just a short period of time and we had a couple of culverts that were stopped up,” he said.
Nolan said he doesn’t foresee any major flooding for the county.
“Fortunately between rain storms there’s been a break,” he noted. “If we have a downpour and have several hours or a couple of days between the rain, there’s little chance of flooding.”
He said the Yellow River is well below flood stage and he doesn’t anticipate any problems from the Alcovy River, although it may rise slightly.
“For the rest of this week we have a similar potential for afternoon and evening thunderstorms with intense rain and flash flooding according to the information we’ve received so far,” Nolan said. Snapping Shoals EMC reported about 60 Newton County customers were out of power due to lightning.
“On average, most customers were back on within an hour an a half,” said Leigh-Anne Burgess, communications/PR specialist.
In Covington, "The evening storms did affect our electric system, but not in a major way," said Utilities Director Bill Meecham. "The main impact was the loss of two phases of a three-phase line on Cook Street between Hwy. 278 and Newton Drive when lightning blew the fuses. The other impacts were individual incidents caused by lightning or trees and were scattered all over the area. Collectively, less than 50 customers were affected. They were back on by midnight."