It was a brutal storm, with straight-line winds exceeding 80 mph. The worst parts of Friday's storm raged during the school and work morning rush hour, but with the exception of fallen trees and the scattering of limbs by the thousands, Carthage survived relatively unscathed.

It was a brutal storm, with straight-line winds exceeding 80 mph. The worst parts of Friday's storm raged during the school and work morning rush hour, but with the exception of fallen trees and the scattering of limbs by the thousands, Carthage survived relatively unscathed.

According to Sgt. Roy Eppard with the Carthage Police Department, there were no fatalities, injuries nor vehicular accidents in Carthage during the morning storm.

“There were a lot of trees down, some power lines down” and a few stop signs, he said.

Some parts of Carthage lost power, mostly on the western edge, which seemed to take the brunt of the storm’s fury. Many calls into the police station were of downed trees onto houses, cars or fences. For example, one call from a Carthage resident, Eppard said, spoke of a lightning bolt that split a tree into two, dropping a sizeable limb on her vehicle’s windshield.

A number of calls came from concerned residents about uprooted trees perhaps breaking underground gas lines. Electric crews were out surveying uprooted tree damages, and as of 10:43 a.m., he said there were no reports of gas leaks in town.

A few lights at key intersections were down, he said, including Central/Garrison and Oak/Garrison. The latter had been reduced to a four-way stop. Also, several businesses, mainly on the western part of town, were without power after the storm had passed.

When asked about tree damage, Tim Hill, Carthage Street Superintendent, summed it up with two words — “It’s bad.”

Usually during summer storms, he continued, “the damage is located in a certain area, but with this storm it was everywhere; widespread.”

Dozens upon dozens of trees were ripped up from the ground due to the fierce straight-line winds that rammed into Jasper County from the west.

Trees blocked about five Carthage streets immediately after the storm had passed the city by — at Main and Paradise, at 14th and Garrison, and out on Poplar. Those have since been cleared, Hill said.

“We’re concentrating on clearing the main throughways,” he said. The 18 members of the city’s road crews were split up into four crews as they responded to calls of downed trees, relayed to them by the Carthage Police Department.

All in all, he said, “It could’ve have been much worse,” alluding to more structural damage around town or the possibility of a tornado hitting the city.

“The golf course,” he said, “is in bad shape.”

Kurt Neubert, superintendent of the Carthage Municipal Golf Course, said there were “about 30 trees” down, some of the trees “pretty huge.”

In a way, he said, it was worse damage than the previous ice storm, because then, “we had branches down from thousands of trees; here, we have entire trees down.

“There’s a lot more wood on the ground this time,” Neubert said.

The golf course has been closed today, and Neubert and others are working frantically to remove as much of the tree damage as possible.

It should be open back to the public Saturday, mainly because the downed trees missed all the greens; some lying adjacent to them, and there’s little interference to the actual playing fields; in areas, they’ll be “cutting holes so golfers can play through.”

According to the National Weather Service, there’s a 20 percent chance of showers tonight before 1 a.m. with 8 mph winds. Saturday, there’s a 20 percent chance of rain with temperatures hovering in the low 50s.

Carthage Press