Gusty winds through Sunday night and Monday morning left Excelsior EMC and Georgia Power repairing some power lines in Bulloch and neighboring counties, but little other damage was reported in Bulloch after a stormy multi-day transition from 2021 to 2022.
One 49 mile-per-hour gust of wind was logged automatically at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport between 2:55 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. Monday, but the sustained wind for that same period was only 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service database at www.weather.gov. Later that same hour, two gusts of 41 mph were recorded. A 30 mph gust arrived as late as 11:15 a.m., when the sustained wind was still blowing cold at 21 mph.
“Some high-speed winds have caused power outages in Bulloch, Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Tattnall” counties, Metter-based Excelsior Electric Membership Corporation announced on its website and social media shortly after 10 a.m.
To that time, the cooperative had been contending with 97 outages, affecting 2,294 of its power consumers in those six counties. Of those consumers, 986 were in Bulloch. But the powerline crews were working steadily, and 593 of the affected Excelsior EMC consumers had their power restored by then, leaving 1,701 without electricity.
By its 5:53 p.m. update of its interactive outage map, Excelsior had reduced the number of consumers with outages to 90 throughout its system, of whom 29 were in Bulloch County.
As of 1 p.m., Georgia Power Company’s statewide interactive map showed 27 outages in the Statesboro market, affecting 167 customers. By Monday night, the map showed no remaining outages in the Statesboro area, but a few remained near Savannah.
In a press release issued after 5:30 p.m., Georgia Power announced that it had “restored power to more than 200,000 customers impacted by high winds and saturated ground after storms crossed the state overnight.” As of 5:30 p.m., the company had crews in remaining in the field to “restore power to approximately 12,000 customers who remain without power due to extensive damage from the storm.”
Through much of the state, winds continued after heavy rain and lightning Sunday evening, and temperatures plummeted to more seasonable levels for January after an a warm, at times hot, final week of December and start of the New Year.
Thursday night, Dec. 30, also brought hazardous weather conditions. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning from about 7:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. for an area from Pulaski to Brooklet, including Register and Statesboro. But no damage was reported then, and except for the power lines, that was also largely the case with Sunday night’s bluster.
Ted Wynn, Bulloch public safety and Emergency Management Agency director, said Monday there were no reports of significant damage in the county due to the high winds Sunday night into Monday morning.
“There were some sporadic power outages and some limbs down, but, fortunately, the winds did not result in any serious damage,” he said.