A severe thunderstorm Tuesday afternoon caused by a cold front moving into the area sent trees and limbs flying and dumped several inches of rain on parts of Bulloch and surrounding counties.
Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said no injuries were reported, although a man driving between Brooklet and Statesboro reported that his truck was hit by a falling tree.
The Ford F-250 was struck by the tree near the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 East and Burkhalter Road. Responding officers reported that the driver, who was not immediately identified as of Tuesday evening due to incomplete reports, declined medical treatment.
Wynn said trees were reported down across the county, including the portion of Ben Grady Collins Road between Cowboy Way and Portal-Metter Highway near Portal. While messages left with Excelsior Electric Membership Corporation were not returned Tuesday evening, a recorded message heard when calling the company stated the service area was "experiencing widespread power outages."
As of 5:50 p.m., Excelsior's online outage map reported
522 customers without power in Bulloch County, 115 in Candler County and 16 in Evans County. The outages were clumped in several pockets around the region.
One Portal resident reported receiving an inch of rainfall within 15 minutes.
Calls to Georgia Power Co. in Statesboro were also not immediately returned Tuesday evening. As of 5 p.m., no Georgia Power customers in the Statesboro area were without power, according to the utility's online outage map.
Trees were also reported down on Old River Road North near U.S. Highway 301 North.
Bulloch County 911 Director Kelly Barnard said trees were also down on Agnes Akins Road, Nesmith-Proctor Road, Bragg Chester Road, n Lakeview Road near Old River Road, Clito Road near Burkhalter Road and Portal-Metter Highway near the Candler County line.
Candler County Public Safety Director David Moore reported no major damage reported Tuesday.
Wynn said the storms were expected to continue through the night and into today. The storms brought wind, lightning and significantly cooler temperatures.
The high temperature Tuesday afternoon at Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport before the storm hit was 92 degrees. After it passed through, it quickly dropped to 74 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
This storm, along with sharply cooler temperatures in the Midwest, is a result of the "polar vortex" weather system moving across the eastern portion of the country - similar to the weather phenomenon that brought ice storms to the region in January and February.
"It's funny to say that (polar vortex) in July," Wynn said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.