Downed power-lines, fires reported in St. Marys

7:24 PM, Jan 11, 2014   |    comments
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ST. MARYS, Ga. -- Thousands lost power across the First Coast after wild storms swept through the area Saturday, causing multiple fires from downed power lines in St. Marys, Ga. 

"We didn't know if it was a tornado or what, I guess just high winds," resident Stanley Unangst said.

Storms moved in quickly, bringing wind gusts up to 62 miles per hour in St. Marys. That's where one tree was responsible for multiple fires.

Police there say a tree fell on the power line sparking flames just around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Georgia Power shut down the electricity and the fires put themselves out. 

No structures were damaged, but almost 200 residents on and around Dilworth Street lost power. 

"I tried to call, but the power is out," said Irma Navarrete. 

Navaratte says she was on her way to work at a call center on Dilworth Street, but the road was shut down for hours while crews restored service to downed power lines.

"There was a whole bunch of rain. I had to park because my car was hydroplaning," said Navarette who was driving in from Jacksonville.

Fallen limbs littered several parts of St. Marys with debris. But residents say the shocking part wasn't the aftermath of the storm, but how quickly the storm surged through the area.

"Wind was blowing kind of hard and then we come home and the trees and power lines are knocked down," said Unangst. 

Jacksonville had at least 7,000 people without power about 5 p.m. Saturday. 

It's a big change from the weather seen earlier in the week.

"The weather dropping cold, then getting hot, people getting sick, it's been crazy," said Unangst. 

On Monday and Tuesday, Southern Georgia saw temperatures in the teens. Meanwhile, Jacksonville and other parts of the First Coast saw temperatures in the 20's. 

This weekend temperatures soared into the upper 70's and even 80-degree weather in some areas.

Almost a month ago, a tornado stormed through Palm Coast -- in Flagler County -- down just a week shy of the official start of winter.

Now, temperatures are back in the 60's, with 68 days until Spring. 

For more information on JEA power outages, click here.

For outages in Georgia, click here. 


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