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One person killed by falling tree during powerful storm, Richland County coroner says

Windy weather moves through Columbia area

High winds and rain moved through the Columbia area on Thursday, June 20, 2019, downing a lot of trees in the area.
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High winds and rain moved through the Columbia area on Thursday, June 20, 2019, downing a lot of trees in the area.

One person was killed in Columbia on Wednesday as a result of the powerful thunderstorm that rolled through the Midlands, the Richland County coroner said.

Coroner Gary Watts confirmed one person was dead after being hit by a tree.

“It is directly related to the storm,” Watts said in an interview with The State.

The tree fell in the Earlewood neighborhood in Columbia, according to Watts. It happened around 4:30 p.m., WOLO reported.

The person was not in a car, but was outside when part of the falling tree hit them, according to Watts.

Watts said he would publicly identify the victim after contacting the family.

No other storm-related deaths have been reported in Richland County, Watts said.

The storms left a trail of destruction across the Midlands, as trees were reported uprooted in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Sumter and more.

All of the downed trees caused power outages across South Carolina, and more than 90,000 customers reported being without electricity as of 6 p.m.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Watch a NOAA video about being safe when thunderstorms and lighting approach.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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