NOAA confirms downburst in Columbia County caused damage


COLUMBIA COUNTY (WJBF) – As high winds and hard rains pummeled the CSRA Wednesday night, one portion of Columbia County was particularly hard-hit, with sudden gusts flipping an 18-wheeler and toppling trees that landed on power lines, across roads, and on top of homes.

The NOAA Office in Columbia has classified the event that occurred along Appling Harlem Road last evening as a downburst, saying that while the power of a downburst can be comparable to a weak tornado, the pattern of damage is often different.

Along Appling Harlem Road and, particularly, Lonergan Hulme Road, the trees that were downed fell in the same direction, indicating a downburst and not a tornado. While the NOAA did not send a team to investigate, they did examine photos of the damage and analyzed the radar images from the time of the event.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reported no serious or life-threatening injuries.

According to WJBF’s Meteorology Team, just over half-an-inch of rain was recorded at Augusta Regional Airport, with higher totals across the region.

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