A strong storm moved through Chattooga County this afternoon causing downed power lines and some structural damage to buildings in the county, especially in downtown Summerville.
AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio lost power around 5:30 this afternoon, and as of 9 PM the power still has not been restored. We spoke with Danny Fricks of Georgia Power in Summerville, who said around 2100 Georgia Power customers were without power as of 8 PM this evening.
Power outages are reported in Menlo, Cloudland and Summerville. Chattooga County Commissioner Jason WInters told AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio, that there were no injuries reported from the storm according to information from Chattooga 911.
Straight line winds are being blamed for damage to several businesses in Summerville. A mobile home was overturned behind Earl Rainwater Funeral Home in Summerville. According to information from the Chattooga County Sheriffs Department, there was no one home at the time of the storm.
Marks Auto Sales in Summerville received damage to the awning facing Commerce Street. The winds took down the structure. Next door at Bryant and Sons Hardware the damage was worse. An employee of Bryant and Sons told AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio that it seemed as if the winds picked up the roof of the building and shifted it forward. Blocks on the side of the building could be seen out of place and there was water inside the building. Stacks of lumber were blown around the lumber yard.
Across the street at Armstrongs BBQ windows were blown out of the building. Patrons at Long John Silvers were herded into the freezer and the bathroom areas of the restaurant by the management as a precaution.
Emergency crews will be on the scene throughout the night as they work to asses damage and clean up the situation. Georgia Power said that it could be well into the night before power is restored in all areas. Danny Fricks with Georgia Power told AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio that more than 20 crews from surrounding areas are being brought into Chattooga County to help restore power.
AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio plans to be back on the air at 6 AM Saturday morning. Mary Beth Housch was on the scene of the damaged areas in Summerville and has photos that will posted on chattoogainfo.com.
Special thanks to Jason Espy of the Summerville News for loaning us his lap top so we could update the web site. We apologize for not getting the information on sooner, but power outages prevented us from doing so. Tune in tommorrow morning with Mary Beth as she updates you on all the information.