Official: Winds cause damage to area, but no tornado reported

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comApril 19, 2013 

High winds caused significant damage to a Victory Drive restaurant around noon Friday.

Gus's Drive-In, 3498 Victory Drive, suffered damage to the building and a sign out front when a storm moved through.

The traffic lights are not functioning properly at Victory Drive and Benning Drive. Officers are on the scene.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., said they cannot confirm any tornado activity in Muscogee County, contrary to some reports. Laura Belanger, a meteorologist with the NWS, said it appears the damage is "too widespread for it to have been a tornado.

"As of now there is no indication that it was a tornado," she said, adding the NWS may have to send a representative to the area to survey the damage.

According to Georgia Power spokesman Robert Watkins there were 6,000 Muscogee County Georgia Power customers without power at midday. At 1 p.m., there were 4,957 without power. It was concentrated in MidTown and South Columbus, along Wynnton Road, Victory Drive and St. Marys Road.

"We're still evaluating the situation," Watkins said. "We hope to have everybody back up within 24 hours, if not sooner."

A large branch has broken off of a tree in front of South Columbus Elementary that is blocking two lanes of southbound traffic on Torch Hill Road. Drivers appear to be going around the debris. Another tree down the road is blocking a lane of Benning Drive. Officers are directing traffic as they attempt to get traffic lights functioning again.

The storm appears to have moved through that area around 11:30 a.m. to 11:45.

Have you seen any damage from the storm? Let us know by emailing us at newsroom@ledger-enquirer.com.

The map shows an outline of areas Georgia Power said were experiencing outages:


View Power outages in a larger map

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