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Storm Blog

Check back here for quick updates of storm damage and power outages in Central Georgia.

4:20 p.m. (AP) -- Officials say about 24 soldiers are recovering after being hurt when high winds slammed into their tents during thunderstorms at Fort Gordon.

3:30 p.m. Georgia Power reports 26,000 customers out statewide (19,700 Augusta/Evans; 3,000 Metro Atlanta). (Updated at 4:20)

2:22 p.m. Crawford County EMA Director Jerry Gibbs says there were five locations where trees fell on power lines and caused minor fires. He says the Fire Department was able to address those.

1:12 p.m. Crawford County viewer reports that a limb fell from a tree and the branches from the limb hit the truck.

12:25 p.m. Viewer Robert White in Eastman reports that he received 3.5 inches of rainfall last night on Hwy 46 E, about two miles outside of town.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Dodge, Treutlen, Laurens, and Telfair until 1:30 a.m.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 12:00 a.m. for Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Hancock, Johnson, Jones, Monroe, Putnam, Twiggs, Washington, Wilkinson Counties.

Fire Hits Bleckley Store

It took firefighters about an hour to put out a fire at a Bleckley County convenience store Friday afternoon.

The fire was called in around 5 p.m. from Perry's Store on Highway 26 east. The store was open at the time.

Bleckley County Fire Chief Glenn Lord said the fire started in the store's attic and caused heavy damage throughout the store.

Employee Sam Blash was on duty. He says he was burning trash earlier in the evening when he went inside to help a customer.

"I got a customer and I came around front and about five or six minutes later this guy came by and he turned in here and said your building's on fire," says Blash.

Lord said the cause is unknown, but it's not believed to be suspicious.

He says it could have something to do with burning trash in the back of the building.

"Could have been an aerosol can went up against the side. It was wood inside and it went up against the wall into the attic," says Lord.

Dodge 3-Year-Old's Fatal Shooting May Be Accidental

Friday's fatal shooting of a Dodge County 3-year-old child appears to be accidental, according to Capt. Tony Winborn of the sheriff's department.

Yellow crime tape wrapped the house shows where three year old Arshauntay James was shot and killed.

His mother brought the boy and his two brothers to visit her cousin Erica Stidhum.

Stidhum said, "He was active, smart for his age."

The shooting happened at 534 Soperton Highway around 9:45 Friday morning.

The homeowner says she didn't even know a gun was in her house.

Stidhum says, "All I know is my cousin, the mother of him is, she's not talking to anybody. She's down, but it's not her fault. I didn't know a gun was in my house. I would not ever let somebody come in my house with a gun."

Stidhum says a friend of James' mother brought the hand gun over.

Group Builds Home for Bleckley Drug Program

A Central Georgia group is working to minister to those struggling with addiction by using a twelve-step program with a spiritual approach, and they're completing their mission with the help of some faithful volunteers.

82-year-old Eddie Bush has a passion for helping others. That's why he says, for more than 30 years, he's been part of an organization called Carpenters for Christ.

"We go out into different places where there's need."

The group started in 1975 on mission trips for disaster relief in foreign countries," said Bush.

NAACP Protests Dodge Confederate Flag Again

About 100 people again protested a Confederate flag flying near the Dodge County Courthouse Monday night.

As they did last month, county commissioners heard from the group but took no action.

Central Georgia chapters of the NAACP want the county to remove the flag from a war memorial in front of the courthouse.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, some see the flag as a part of Southern history, others as a symbol of slavery.

On Tuesday, Edward DuBose, head of the Georgia NAACP, told the board that they'll continue protesting until the flag comes down.  That's according to David Booker, head of the Macon chapter.

Commissioner Brian Watkins said the board listened to their concerns but took no action.

He said the flag is protected by law because it's part of a war memorial.