Irma topples trees and power lines across area

Weather blamed for man's death

A tree on a Williamston home. This happened on Mauldin Street on Monday (WSPA).

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(WSPA) – Crews continue to clean the mess left by Irma throughout our area.

The hurricane weakened to a tropical storm on Monday as it moved through Florida towards Georgia. She still packed a powerful punch.

Strong winds toppled trees and power lines throughout the area.

Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley said one death was weather related. The victim was identified as Charles Robert Saxon, 57, of Calhoun Falls. Saxon was clearing a fallen limb from when yard when another limb fell on him on Monday afternoon, Ashley said in a release.

More than 170,000 power outages were reported as of Tuesday morning.

Duke Energy reports around 136,000 customers are without early Tuesday in the Upstate and western North Carolina.

Other utility companies are also repairing damage.

Almost 25,000 Blue Ridge Electric members were without power as of 5:30 a.m., while Haywood EMC says 10,439 customers had outages as of 7 a.m.

Schools delayed the start of class or cancelled school throughout the area Monday and Tuesday.

Drivers are urged to use caution as trees and power lines blocked roadways.

There was at least one rock slide on Highway 221 in McDowell County. The highway reopened around 7 a.m.

Several roads in Oconee County remained closed as of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Parts of Westminster and Pickens Highway were closed, while several other roads remained blocked in Westminster, Seneca, Mountain Rest and Walhalla.

Oconee County Fire Chief Charles King said the dispatch center received almost 1,300 calls between 2 p.m. Monday and midnight on Tuesday. He said there were 672 reported emergencies, including downed trees, power lines, medical emergencies and four fires.

A shelter was opened at St. Mark Church in Seneca for those who weren’t comfortable in their homes.

Pickens County was also hard hit.

Sharon Johnson said all Pickens County government offices, including the courthouse and magistrate offices, are closed Tuesday due to a major power outage.

CHECK CURRENT POWER OUTAGES: DUKE ENERGYBLUE RIDGE ELECTRICLAURENS ELECTRICBROAD RIVER ELECTRIC

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