The number of SCE&G Columbia-area customers without power is down to about 15,000 by late morning from a peak of 53,000 overnight when thunderstorms driven by winds gusting to 60 mph whipped through the Midlands.
Much of downtown Columbia was hard hit, including the sought-after Shadon neighborhood, according to utility and public officials.
No weather-related injuries have been reported. But clean-up crews were still removing trees from roads while SCE&G utility workers summoned from Aiken and the Lowcountry assisted in restoring power.
Thunderstorms struck moved in about 7 p.m. from the Upstate and tore through from Newberry County south, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Petrolito. The storms and damaging winds continued on and off until about 8 a.m. Friday, he said.
Scattered hail from golfball size to smaller was reported, Petrolito said. More thunderstorms are expected later in the day Friday but will end on Saturday.