Thursday afternoon was a bit more than Winnie-the-Pooh would have called a “blustery day.”
Between 4 and 4:30 p.m. that day, a relatively brief but extremely strong thunderstorm blew through Kershaw County, causing a lot of damage, especially to trees and powerlines. So much so, that Camden City Manager Mel Pearson -- citing a total of 75 completely or mostly destroyed trees -- said the damage caused was more than that of any of the hurricanes (or their remnants) that had passed through Camden during the last three years.
As many as 7,500 customers went without power -- in a number of cases, for 18 hours or longer.
Between 3 p.m. and midnight Thursday, Kershaw County dispatchers received a total of 565 calls, the vast majority for power outages and trees being down, according to Kershaw County Director of Safety and Emergency Services Gene Faulkenberry. Ninety-five were for completely blocked roads; another 27 for other storm-related issues. There were also a lot of fires caused by fallen power lines, Faulkenberry said.
In other words, it was dangerous out there.
Storms returned Saturday, although to a bit less effect than Thursday.
Eventually, power was restored, trees removed, and roads reopened. For that, we can thank city and county employees who worked through the night alongside the S.C. Department of Transportation and several contractors, along with firefighters, police officers and deputies, and EMS. To all, we give a big, “Thank you.”