UPDATE: South Georgia escapes major storm damage

May 10—VALDOSTA — South central Georgia dodged the bullet with rough weather late Thursday and early Friday.

A storm that had been projected to bring torrential rain, low hurricane-speed wind gusts and possible tornadoes did little damage to the area, authorities said.

A tornado warning issued for Brooks and Lowndes counties at 7:20 a.m. Friday was based on wind patterns in early radar images, said Karleissa Roguchesti, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Center's Tallahassee, Fla., office.

The original warning had the likely twister heading from Brooks County east toward Lowndes County's I-75 corridor. A few minutes of torrential rain did strike the region, but no actual sightings of a tornado were reported, Roguchesti said.

"There were no confirmed radar debris signatures," so there was no final radar confirmation of the tornado either.

Sheriff's offices in Brooks, Lowndes and Tift counties said they had no reports of serious damage. Roguchesti said the only damage reports she was aware of from Lowndes County involved a couple of downed trees.

The storm did cause some power problems in the Azalea City. Traffic lights were out for a portion of the city, and around 600 customers were without power between Georgia Power and Colquitt EMC in the Valdosta area around noon. By 4 p.m., the total without power in Lowndes had been reduced to fewer than 70, according to the power suppliers.

As for the rain, Roguchesti said areas in Lowndes County received between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of rain since midnight. Weather service records show 1.46 inches of rain falling at the Valdosta Regional Airport in a 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Friday.

For Tifton, weather service records show 2.05 inches of rain falling at the Moultrie airport — the weather service's closest monitoring station — in the 24 hours ending at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.