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Weather system ravages downtown Douglas, multiple traffic lights still not working

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Featured This view from across Peterson Avenue from Rent-A-Center shows the portion of the roof that came flying off the building during yesterday's severe weather. Photo courtesy of the Coffee County Ga. Police Scanner This view from across Peterson Avenue from Rent-A-Center shows the portion of the roof that came flying off the building during yesterday's severe weather.

The street lights are back up in downtown Douglas but not all of them are working following a brief but violent weather system that ravaged the downtown area Saturday afternoon. Call it whatever you want to – a microburst, straight-line winds, whatever – it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is the destruction the system left in its wake. High winds ripped street lights from their perches, snapped trees in half, flung debris across roadways, and in what is one of the most spectacular (and destructive) displays of Mother Nature locally in a long time, ripped the roof off the Rent-A-Center on South Peterson Avenue and dropped it on the street. As a result, traffic had to be re-routed around the area while crews moved what was left of the roof. The system also damaged a Rent-A-Center employee’s car when bricks from the building fell on the hood of the vehicle.

Crews went to work immediately – while rain was still falling – to clear up the streets and restore normal traffic flow. There were no injuries reported and nothing has been stated as to how much damage – if any – Rent-A-Center suffered inside after the roof came flying off. According to the University of Georgia Weather Station at the Clyde Kirkland Farm, .04 of an inch of rain fell yesterday.

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