Officials consider Columbia County relatively lucky after strong storms and tornadoes ravaged nearby areas.
"It is a blessing we didn't have any deaths," said Pam Tucker, the county's emergency management director. "You can replace all these things that were damaged. But we don't have anybody grieving."
The storms, which included a tornado, hit the northern part of the county hardest, Tucker said. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado developed in the Appling area near Ray Owens and Crawford Place roads and Cobbham Road near Pollard's Corner.
Tucker said her office did not receive any confirmed tornado sightings, as most of the downed trees and damage reports indicate the tornado and straight-line winds affected mostly wooded, rural areas.
But damages were not restricted to the Appling area. Winds sent the top of a neighbor's pine tree through the roof of Tom and Karen Gilmore's townhouse off Stevens Creek Road in Martinez.
After listening to weather reports and seeing the wind bend large trees, the couple and their dog had taken cover in a bathroom when Mr. Gilmore said he heard a loud boom.
"I thought it was lightning," Mr. Gilmore said. "I had no idea a tree hit the roof."
The tree left four holes in the roof and stopped when it hit the attic floor. But overnight, the attic floor gave way, dropping the attic contents onto the bed of a spare bedroom, across the hall from where the couple was sleeping.
The home sustained heavy water and structural damage, Mr. Gilmore said.
"We have to have a Columbia County engineer come out and look at it," Mr. Gilmore said.
The storms brought hail and possible winds up to110 miles per hour, Tucker said. Wind and some hail damage was reported county-wide, she said.
"We had close to 1,000 trees down," she said, adding that no deaths or major injuries were reported. "The power lines were all tangled up in the trees."
High winds toppled a mobile home in Appling but the owner was unhurt, Tucker said. Trees also fell on top of another abandoned mobile home, she added.
Columbia County Commissioner Lee Anderson said he was traveling back from Washington, Ga., and saw emergency workers attempting to clear trees from the roadways on Ray Owens and Crawford Place roads. He grabbed a spare chain saw and spent about five hours helping clear the roadways.
Tucker said firefighters, county roads and bridges personnel and volunteers worked through Saturday night and cleared all roadways by Sunday morning.
"They did a great job," Tucker said. "It is typical of how everybody works so well together in Columbia County."
The storms hit populated areas in Jefferson County, including Wrens and Matthews, where firefighters and Columbia County's Mobile Operations Center were sent to assist. Aiken County also was heavily damaged by the storm.
"We are very blessed," Anderson said. "No one that I know of was hurt. We didn't have near the hit like Wrens and Matthews were hit."
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