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‘Straight line’ winds wreak havoc

Chris Buchanan

Storm5Brantley winds may not have brought the same damage found in the midwest earlier this week but the county did find itself the victim of strong damaging winds Sunday afternoon.

According to Brantley Emergency Management Agency Director Michelle Lee, Brantley experienced what the National Weather Service called straight line winds on Sunday evening.  Emergency personnel surveyed various damage around the county ranging from one mobile home with a partially removed roof, two damaged barns, one damaged pool and several downed fences.

Power lines and trees were also reported down in areas of Hortense along Hwy. 32 West and along Raybon Rock Road.

Juanita Crews said that the storm was extremely loud as it came across her property that afternoon and that it shook her kitchen.

Amidst the storm a pine tree came down destroying a metal carport and damaging a vehicle underneath but narrowly missing a home.

Also on the road, Kristen Crews Cribbs reported through social media that the storm uprooted a pecan tree on her mother’s property.

The storm also moved a barn on Horsestomp Road and took the roof off half of mobile home on Hortense Screven Road.  The residents were assisted by the Red Cross and a tarp has since been placed over the damaged roof.

Oddly enough one resident in the area of the damaged home said she saw relatively little damage.

“I live five minutes from the roof that got torn off that house and I had electricity and even the TV didnt got out,” Brittney Megan Oglesby comment through Facebook.

Many areas of Hwy. 32 also had downed trees and downed power lines due to high winds resulting in a destroyed barn and a damaged pool.

Similar damage was reported not far over the county line into Wayne County where the Roberson and Lee families both recounted the loud storm and spent most of Monday moving fallen trees and debris from their properties.

Both Rhonda Lee and her husband Wade disagreed on weather it was a tornado or a storm but both agreed it was the worst storm they’d seen there in 26 years of living off of Hortense Road.

Among the damage was a massive water oak which was upended bringing nearly 10 feet of earth and roots with it.

But wind wasn’t the only problem for some, including Tyler Rowell, who was on the road to his brother Patrick’s house when the storm hit out of nowhere.

Rowell said he got a call while on the way warning him of the bad weather.  At that time, the drive was fairly peaceful, but by the time he got off the call, the became a much more dangerous feat, with heavy rains and even hail pummeling his vehicle. Meanwhile trees were sideways on the road, he said.

“It was just white everywhere, just the rain was so heavy all you could hear was the rain falling,” Tyler said. “You couldn’t actually hear the trees breaking it was just loud wind noises.”

Tyler’s trip to a family dinner quickly became more about helping him recover from the damage when a tree landed on Patrick’s home during the worst of the storm, he said.

Nahuntans also saw some damage from the storm including downed trees and power outages.

Through social media, Brenda Lichty-Steedley said that wind and limbs did damage to both her sons’  houses.

“Both were without electricity,” she said. “Our outside television and internet box got hit and we were without today. All of us live on the same road.”

The storm also took a limb down behind the post office, she said, and was laying behind the Nahunta First Baptist office.  The storm also flooded part of Florida Avenue she said.

Okefenoke REMC, Satilla REMC and Georgia Power were all called for assistance with lines down in there service areas.

Meanwhile Brantley EMA, the Hortense, Nahunta, Hoboken and Waynesville Fire Departments, the Hoboken Police, Brantley Sheriff’s Office, and the American Red Cross responded to the various incidents surrounding the afternoon storm.


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