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1,500 without power following storm

Patricia Huggins composes herself as she describes how a tree ripped through her roof, damaging much of her home on Truman Street during Monday's storm. "It felt like an earthquake," she said. Huggins said lightning also hit the home, cracking one of the walls in the living room.
Patricia Huggins composes herself as she describes how a tree ripped through her roof, damaging much of her home on Truman Street during Monday's storm. "It felt like an earthquake," she said. Huggins said lightning also hit the home, cracking one of the walls in the living room.

More than 1,500 Columbia residents remain without power after an afternoon storm Monday that damaged and destroyed homes, disrupted traffic signals, blocked roads and caused other damage. More than 100 trees were reported felled or damaged.

No injuries were reported.

SCE&G hopes to have power restored by this afternoon, Mayor Bob Coble says.

Patricia Huggins said a tree ripped through her roof, damaging much of her home on Truman Street during the storm.

"It felt like an earthquake," she said. "Now I know how those people in New Orleans felt."

Huggins said lightning also hit the home, cracking one of the walls in the living room.

The city received about 1,700 emergency calls during a five-hour period last night, Coble said. Eight hundred of them required someone to be dispatched.

Quick temperature drops indicate how severe the thunderstorm was. The temperature dropped 23 degrees in an hour at Columbia's Owens Field, from 95 at 3 p.m. to 72 at 4 p.m.

The weather system was short-lived and spotty. The official Columbia Airport gauge registered only a trace of rainfall.

Gills Creek, which drains part of the hard-hit area, rose from 1.08 feet to 3.84 feet from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. Smith Branch, in North Columbia, went from .44 inches to 6.36 inches in the same period.

More storms are expected this afternoon.

-- From staff reports. Reporters Joey Holleman, Lee Higgins and Adam Beam, and photographer Gerry Melendez contributed to this story.

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