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Storm kills two in Butts; dozens of closed roads reopened

A Butts County man and his three-year-old child were killed overnight when a tree toppled by strong winds fell on their home. The man’s wife and another child were sleeping in a different room and survived. Dozens of roads were closed in Pike County this morning by fallen trees. County work crews have re-opened all of the 20+ closed roads – sometimes removing century-old trees – except for Blount Road. There have been reports of homes hit by lightening during the storm. More than 500 residents lost power in the Hollonville area and hundreds of others in the Williamson and Pedenville area were without power as well. At 8:50 a.m., Southern Rivers Energy had about 2,000 customers without power. “Most of those are grouped together on a couple of main lines that are down due to fallen trees. When we get those repaired, a lot of people will have power restored at the same time. Some of the others are transmission outages and SRE cannot repair them,” spokesman Bobby Ferris reported. To view the SRE outage updater, click ttp:// Major Doug Morris said no injuries had been reported, but the Concord area was hardest hit. ”We had a very, very high volume of calls,” he said. “There were a lot of wires down and trees down blocking several roadways.” The school system automated call system alerted parents that buses were unable to travel on dozens of roads, including Green Street in Concord which was completely closed. Trees blocked other roads including Adams Road near Blount Road, Gresham Road, Flat Rock Road, Pendeville at Cochran Road, Williamson Zebulon at Dickerson Road, Caldwell Road, Shortcut Road, Johnson Road at Pedenville Road, Adams Road at Old Cannery Road, Midway Road at Twin Oaks Road area, Caldwell Bridge Road on the paved part, Reidsboro Road, Roseview at Hill Street, Society Street in Concord and Blanton Mill Road at Bledsoe Farm Road and parts of Pine Valley Road partially blocked. At the peak of the storm, about 2,700 cooperative members were without power. “Again most of the large numbers were due to transmission outages affecting entire substations. We are on top of things but clearing the trees may take some time. All available crews are working but we still have a lot of isolated outages to deal with” Ferris added. One major issue overnight was the cooperative’s loss of telephone service. “Our connection with AT&T was interrupted last night so we did not get a lot of the calls reporting outages,” Ferris said. SRE is monitoring winds and its system for further problems. “Calls are coming in with outages as people wake up. Most are on the western part of our system but scattered. The main causes are downed lines due to fallen trees along with blown fuses due to lightning,” Ferris said. Storm damage is widespread with nearly 200,000 homes without power statewide at daybreak. Do you have a storm story to tell? More on this story as it develops.

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