Storm brings rain, hail to area

Power knocked out for 1,800


Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 11:30 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm clipped the northern edge of Alachua County on Monday night, with winds gusting to 70 mph.
As the storm passed through shortly after 9:30 p.m., rainfall amounts of up to two inches were reported in Gilchrist and northern Alachua County. Gainesville Regional Airport recorded 1.69 inches in an hour. At least one location reported hail up to half an inch in diameter falling briefly. Some localized flooding on area roads was also reported.
About 1,800 customers lost power temporarily, according to Dan Jesse, spokesman for Gainesville Regional Utilities. A falling tree knocked out a circuit on Newberry Road, causing an outage from just west of The Oaks Mall to NW 122nd St. Jesse said neither the mall nor North Florida Regional Medical Center were affected.
A second falling tree damaged a power pole, leaving residents of Hickory Woods at NW 23rd Avenue and NW 68th Street in the dark.
Jesse said approximately 250 customers were still without power at 11 p.m.
"The rain isn't over yet, so there may be more outages later," he said.
The National Weather Service warned of additional rain and possible lightning strikes as the storm continued past the Gainesville airport and northeast sections of the city.
Caused by a mix of rising warm air currents and incoming cold currents, the storm passed through the region quickly, but forecasters said it preceded the next weather shocker headed to North Central Florida: a strong cold front.
National Weather Service meteorologist Marie Trabert said Gainesville temperatures could drop below freezing by this weekend.
She said a cold front should arrive on Thursday, replacing last week's temperatures in the 70s with daily highs in the 50s. On Saturday and Sunday nights, Trabert said lows could drop to 30 degrees or even the high 20s.

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