As of 5 p.m. today, about 4,700 Columbus homes were without power after a strong storm front passed into the city earlier, according to Joel Dembowski, engineering supervisor for Georgia Power Co.
Dembowski said Georgia Power had crews out assessing the damage and seeing what would be necessary to make repairs once the storm passes through and it’s safe for linemen to work.
“We’re still in the evaluation process right now,” he said. “Whenever it’s safe – and safety is key – we’ll get on it and start making the necessary repairs.”
The outages were not localized but were spread out all over the city, he said.
At least one tree didn't survive the strong storm. One split and fell on a building at 303 12th Street, which is occupied by several businesses including Trees Columbus.
That caused some traffic problems on Third Avenue and 12th Street. Part of the northbound lane on Third was blocked by a fire near 5:10 p.m. as officials check to make sure there are no down power lines.
The tree was a large Sugarberry tree, said Trees Columbus Executive Director Dorothy McDaniel. Sugarberry trees were a popular street tree species during the 1930's and 1940's, McDaniel said. Trees Columbus will discuss re-planting with the city's Urban Forestry Division.
"When dealing with right-of-way trees, citizens should call 311," McDaniel said. "The Urban Forestry and Beautification Division will respond, as they did in our case tonight."
A tree limb also has knocked down a power line on Third Avenue between Seventh and Sixth streets. A fire engine is on the scene, and the road is blocked off just to the south side of Seventh Street.
A city work crew and fire truck also are on the scene at Second Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets.