Weather News

One dead after powerful thunderstorm rolls through Midlands, leaving path of destruction

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.

As bad weather moved across South Carolina Thursday, a powerful thunderstorm caused damage after it rolled through the Midlands.

Heavy rains and powerful winds swept through the area, including a 56 mph gust that was recorded at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the National Weather Service reported on Twitter. A 51 mph wind gust was reported at Lake Murray, according to Midlands Weather.

One person was killed when a tree fell on them in the Earlewood area of Columbia, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts told The State.


In downtown Columbia, a large tree fell during the storm which included powerful winds. It blocked the southbound lanes on Assembly Street, near the intersection with Calhoun Street, according to a tweet from the Columbia Fire Department.

A huge tree was also uprooted and fell into the roadway on the corner of Gervais and Bull streets, WIS tweeted.

In the 2200 block of Clark Street, another large tree was yanked from the earth and fell on a home, but no injures were reported because it was not occupied at the time of the tree crash, the fire department tweeted.

The Columbia Police Department reported several traffic lights are not working properly because of the storm, and officers will help with traffic control in those areas. Those outages includes the intersection of Devine Street and Cross Hill Road, according to a tweet from the Columbia Fire Department.

Traffic lights are not operating on Rosewood and Millwood.

A tree was in the roadway at Deveraux and Adger roads, WLTX reported.


Damage was spread across the Midlands, as more downed trees were reported in Lexington, on Sunset Drive and Clement Road, according to a tweet.

In Cayce, a large tree was downed on Atlas Road, in front of Bible Way Church, Midlands Weather tweeted.

Drivers are warned to avoid Black Avenue, where a fallen tree is blocking both directions of the road, the Lexington Police Department tweeted.

Traffic lights on North Lake Drive, through Pilgrim Church Road and Old Cherokee Road, are not working, the Lexington Police Department tweeted.

A tree fell on Interstate 20, and was blocking westbound lanes on the highway.

All of the damage is expected to cause traffic issues for drivers, especially those making an evening commute.

Power outages

As of 5 p.m., nearly 95,000 power customers reported outages across South Carolina.

About 39,000 Dominion Energy customers reported losing power. Of those outages, most were in the Midlands as 15,734 blackouts were reported in Lexington County, and another 12,993 were in Richland County.

The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina reported close to 35,000 power outages as of 5 p.m. Those reports included 11,554 customers without electricity in Lexington County, 7,354 in Richland County and 1,724 more in Kershaw County.

Duke Energy was reporting 20,533 customers in South Carolina were in the dark, but most were not in the Midlands. In North Carolina, 41,403 Duke Energy Customers were without power.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Roads across Columbia, South Carolina, were under water on Wednesday, April 5, after several inches of rain, mixed with hail, fell. The National Weather Service reported Columbia and outlying areas received two to three inches in 24 hours.

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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.