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Posted: March 25, 2014 2:25 p.m.

Wind knocks out power on 278

Freeze warnings for rest of week

Matt Smith/

Covington crews work on restoring power after wind blew down a pole by the Little Caesars on Hwy. 278 Tuesday afternoon.

 

The options for ordering pizza in Covington were a little more limited Tuesday afternoon and evening as heavy winds caused a power outage to parts of Newton Plaza and U.S. Highway 278.

A cedar tree was knocked down by a heavy wind gust, crashing into a power pole behind the Checkers restaurant on U.S. 278, cutting power off to Checkers, Papa Johns and part of Newton Plaza, including Little Caesars among other businesses. The knocked down pole, which occurred around 1 p.m., also dragged down a wire strung on a poll that served U.S. 278 from K-mart to Newton Medical Center, Covington Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon said Tuesday.

The hospital had a brief power surge, but didn't lose electricity and continued operating under normal conditions.

Power to the businesses was also hampered becasue the electric boxes on top of the Newton Plaza business were damaged.

“They’re having to get an electrician where it pulled power stacks out of the building and then stuff will have to be reworked and re-inspected,” Bouchillon said.

He expected the repair work to go into Tuesday evening, but said power was likely to be restored Wednesday.
Power to the rest of the U.S. 278 corridor, with the exception of the upper part of Newton Plaza was restored around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

While Tuesday’s high winds, which reached gusts of 35 mph, were expected to end by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Newton County is under a freeze warning until 9 a.m. Wednesday morning and under a freeze watch Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“The freezing temperatures may damage or kill tender or budding vegetation,” the National Weather Service warned Tuesday.

Wednesday night’s low is expected to be 33 degrees, though temperatures will rise as the week advances.

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