Upstate, WNC to see heavy rain and heavy Thursday morning

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA / WFLA) – The remnants of Tropical Storm Zeta brought heavy rain on Thursday accompanied by strong gusting winds to the upstate and western North Carolina.

The storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Cocodrie, Louisiana as a powerful Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds moving towards the New Orleans area and into neighboring Mississippi.

It was downgraded to a tropical storm about an hour after reaching Alabama.

The City of Greenville Public Works said it received reports of more than 80 trees felled from 7 a.m. to noon.

Greenville officials said there were numerous downed power lines that caused power outages and traffic light failures on main roads.

“Citizens are urged to treat signals with an outage as a four-way stop,” according to a press release from the City of Greenville. “We call for patience. Public Works has reported seeing drivers attempting to drive under downed trees. Power lines are often tangled in trees. It is extremely dangerous. Treat all power lines as live.

City of Greenville crews across the county are currently working to clear the road and provide generators to restore signals. City officials said all garbage and waste collection is being delayed and that they are encouraging residents to remove their trash cans from the sidewalk.

A total of 75 people from the city of Greenville were assigned to clean up the storm.

At 3 p.m., the City of Greenville sent us a storm report following the strong winds and rains that crossed the region:

In numbers :

  • More than 80 calls for trees felled between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • 12 PW teams and 6 Parks teams were deployed to remove trees from roads, parks and the city right-of-way
  • 15 intersections that were out of order without power are back online with generators from Traffic Engineering
  • 5 sweeper trucks sweeping the storm debris
  • Total of 75 people assigned to clean up the storm
  • 40 vehicles / equipment used for the effort

Other things to note:

  • The garbage and recycling teams are back on their roads and will continue to collect. All missed customers will be serviced tomorrow.
  • Crews are assigned extended shifts to continue the cleanup effort.
  • PW will continue to work with Duke Power to remove trees around power lines.
  • Boo in the Zoo is canceled Thursday night. The zoo will reopen on Friday.

Anderson County emergency management officials said they had around 30 to 40 trees and a handful of poles and power lines in the county.

At around noon, Anderson County Road and Bridges said they had cut down 74 trees. Road and Bridges crews also said the Townville area was the worst in storm damage, along with the northern part of the county. Anderson County Emergency Management said they received 75 calls in multiple areas of the county, however, they said 15 of those calls were in the town of Anderson. Leaders said power lines and trees fell sporadically.

Throughout the day, the sounds of chainsaws could be heard on Pope Drive in Anderson.

“I hoped to get out of bed, I went to my little girl and was lucky she was fine and everything. The tree was right next to his window, ”said Adam Chabek, owner.

Chabek said around 6:30 a.m. he woke up to what looked like an earthquake, and that’s when he discovered a massive tree on his roof. This tree almost missed her baby’s room while she was sleeping.

“He fell right next to his room. So if it had been over two feet longer, it would have been in his room, ”Chabek said. “I am extremely grateful. I know my wife is extremely grateful. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened otherwise, ”he added.

Just two doors down, a tree split in two in Veronica Wynn’s garden.

“Well I was asleep and then the house started to shake, so I panicked and it was like bang. So I ran out and there was a tree on top of the house, ”Wynn said.

A tree came through Wynn’s roof and almost collapsed in her room too.

“I thought I was in a tornado. I did it, I was scared, ”Wynn said. “It was very dark and the wind was blowing so I didn’t know if the storm was still windy. I didn’t know if other trees were going to fall, ”she added.

Ben Jones worked all day clearing trees in gardens like Wynn’s. He said on every site it was a complete mess.

“Just dead oak branches lying around. Like this one, there was a hole in the roof, ”said Ben Jones, owner of Arrowhead Arborist, LLC.

While there is a long way to go as things return to normal on this once quiet road, everyone is happy to be alive and well.

“The little damage we took, I totally agree with… compared to a lot more that could have happened,” said Chabek.

Both owners said they had only been living in their house since this summer. Chabek said he will have his trees in his yard inspected before another storm like this hits.

Jones said that’s exactly what everyone should be doing.

“I advise that they get expected trees. Usually it’s free for a tree man, preferably an arborist, ”Jones said. “Ask them to come and inspect your trees to make sure you don’t have any loose or broken branches,” he added.

Oconee County Emergency Management said trees and power lines fell across the county and several roads were closed because of them. Oconee County offices will be closed until noon.

In Pumpkintown, our teams found several trees falling on the road, some of which fell on the same power line.

“There’s a lot of pine trees and stuff that line some of these backcountry highways,” said Pickens County resident John Stringer. “… and you just have to be careful because once the ground is saturated and the wind gets so high, it’s just going to lean.”

A Pumpkintown business owner who lost power Thursday morning was unable to open as customers waited outside.

“People come in and want to eat, but you know I just can’t open when I don’t have electricity,” said Bill Alexander, owner of Pumpkintown General Store and Cafe. “Every time we have a bad storm here, we have lost electricity. “


At 6 a.m., Duke Energy was reporting the following outages:

  • Greenville County: 38,026 customers
  • Spartanburg County: 9,912 customers
  • Pickens County: 12,144 clients
  • Oconee County: 5,509 customers
  • Anderson County: 5,234 clients
  • Rutherford County: 13,636 clients
  • Polk County: 7,082 customers
  • Henderson County: 6,457 clients
  • Transylvania County: 1,394 clients
  • Macon County: 2,240 clients
  • Buncombe County: 1,650 clients

Click here to see the current outages of Duke Energy.

As of 6 a.m., Broad River Electric was reporting 1,889 customers without power in Spartanburg County.

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