Thunderstorm brings rain, flooding, damage

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- A thunderstorm blew through Southwest Georgia bringing much-needed rain but exacting a price in flooding, downed trees and other damage Saturday.

Southwest Georgia has been in an exceptional drought condition for about 2.5 years, said Ken Gould, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. That category is worse than severe and extreme, he added.

"There was a fairly widespread half-inch to 3 inches of rain throughout Southwest Georgia," Gould said. "It won't end the drought but it was needed."

The runoff from the intensity of the downpour and the hard ground from extreme dry conditions added to road flooding throughout Albany. Flooded roads were reported in various areas of the city.

A medical office construction site's roadwork along Meredyth Drive in front of Starbucks collapsed due to the weather, said a hospital press release from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Albany Police Department officers were at the scene. Barricades were put up to close the road. The road be closed possibly until Monday, according to John Fischer, a vice president of construction for Phoebe.

Broken tree limbs reportedly blocked a few roads and brought down wires and set power line transformer circuit breakers sparking.

"We've had 20 calls to respond to wires down, activated alarms and transformers blown," said Albany Fire Department Chief James Carswell at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. "No injuries have been reported."

There were no injuries at his 500 block of Moultrie Road home, but Karloes Ponder's 1997 Nissan Altima was wrecked as a 40-foot pine tree in his yard smashed down on it during the storm.

"I didn't hear a crash," Ponder said. "I heard like a thump. I looked out the window and saw cars stopping to look. Then I saw what they were looking at."