Storm takes Lowcountry by surprise

The rainfall Saturday was bittersweet, as evidenced by the battle between lightning and the rainbow in the above photo taken in Mount Pleasant. As the storm brought need moisture, it also brought lightning and damaging winds. (Rebecca Lamb/WCIV)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Storms in the Lowcountry took many by surprise Saturday evening. In addition to leaving thousands without power, strong winds toppled trees, and even moved a crane at Port of Charleston's Wando Terminal.

South Carolina Ports Authority spokesperson Allison Skipper said they believe the large dockside crane was victim of a microburst.

"A sudden surge of wind speed caused a crane to roll into another crane," she said.

There was some damage as a result of the crane accident, but port officials aren't sure yet how severe the damage may be. Skipper said they hope to have a good grasp of the situation by early next week.

More importantly, she said, is that the surge in wind speed came at a time after 7 p.m. when there were no operators in the cranes - meaning no one was injured.

It's estimated wind speeds at the Wando Terminal at the time of the incident were more than 70 miles per hour.

According to the National Weather Service,police in Mount Pleasant reported a woman was struck by lightning. She was taken to a local hospital, and the extent of her injuries are not known.

As many as seven sets of traffic lights were also reported out in Mount Pleasant along Highway 17.