A squall line of thunderstorms that moved from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast brought high winds that toppled trees on houses, cars and power lines leaving hundreds of Union County residents without power this morning and some facing the task of repairing storm damage to their homes.
Tony Sturey, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Greer, said the squall line originally extended from western Kentucky and Tennessee down through Mississippi and into Louisiana. As the squall line made its way eastward Monday and Tuesday morning, it produced severe thunderstorms with torrential downpours; winds averaging at least 60-70 mph if not higher; hail; and 20 tornadoes in the lower Ohio Valley, parts of the Tennessee Valley and the western Gulf Coast from Lousisiana into Mississippi. As it passed through the Upstate, Sturey said the squall line brought high winds, thunder and lightning followed by torrential rains of up to one inch and, in some areas, hail one inch in diameter.
In Union County, the winds generated by the line which passed through the county beginning around 1:30 a.m. blew over trees that pulled down power lines as they fell. City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols said this was the cause of the outages experienced by city customers in Union, Buffalo, Bonham, Sardis and other areas. Nichols the largest area to experience a loss of power was in Union along East Main Street from Church Street to Arthur Boulevard including Lakeside Drive, McBeth Street, Douglass Heights and Park Drive. He said the outage was caused by trees falling on on power line running along Douglass Heights and Park Drive.
Falling trees also caused outages in the Culbreath Heights and Rosewood Terrace areas and the Kenwood Subdivision.
There were outages on Flat Drive, Heatherly Drive, Hill Street and other areas of Buffalo. The Sardis area including the Sardis Road, Sardis School Road, Lovers Lane Road and Gold Mine Road also experienced outage. There were also power outages on Barnado Road, Peach Orchard Road, Linersville Road and adjacent areas. Vernon Foster Road and other areas of Bonham were also affected.
City crews have been working to restore power to the affected areas since early morning. Nichols said Gaffney Public Works was sending two line crews over to assist with the repairs under its mutual aid agreement with the city. He said he believed power would be completely restored by 7 p.m. this evening.
Broad River Electric Cooperative
There were also outages in the areas served by Broad River Electric Cooperative. Member Service Coordinator Josh Crotzer said the storm took down multiple lines and several major power poles causing more than 600 outages. Two of the poles, one in Pauline and one serving the Eisontown, Pea Ridge and Kelly-Kelton commuities had been restored as of 9 a.m. this morning. Repair crews were still working on downed poles service the Sugar Creek Road, Mead Woods Road and Mud Bridge Road area of Buffalo, the Pineland Road and Bobby Little Road areas of Union and the Davo communities.
Crotzer said company officials were confident power would be completely restored by 6 a.m. this evening.
Falling trees also damaged a number of houses in Union County.
Among whose home will have to be repaired is Al Black, who said his house at 704 E. Main St., Union was hit by a tree at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday morning. Black said no one was injured but the tree took out one of his chimneys; his air conditioning unit; damaged his front porch; busted the front window; and put a three foot hole in the roof.
The home of Richard and Sherry Lawson at 122 Douglass Heights was also struck by a falling tree which caused the front porch to collapse and put a hole in the roof. Relatives said the Lawsons were not harmed and were staying with family members.
The falling trees and power lines also blocked a number of streets for short period of time including Douglass Heights, Park Drive, Lakeside Drive and Wilbur Street.