Heavy damage but no injuries reported from intense storms

Like Don't move Unlike

Severe storms that spawned several reports of tornadoes left behind damage across the Triangle on Friday, but no injuries were reported.

There were reports of tornadoes in Chatham, Orange, Edgecombe, Moore, Halifax and Sampson counties, and there were reports of funnel clouds in Wilson and Northampton counties. The National Weather Service will survey the damage to confirm tornadoes.

In Johnston County, winds pulled off the tin roof of a house on Hill Road. Homeowner Jimmy Kasey said the structure was a spare home and nobody was inside when the storm moved through, but he experienced the strong winds from his own nearby house.

“I came to the front door and it wasn’t closed and the wind was strong, it just snapped it shut and then pulled the tin off that house,” he said.

The homeowner said water was leaking through the damaged roof, but nobody was injured.

In Orange County, several trees were felled as a result of the storms and several were reported to have fallen on houses. At Maple View Farm in Orange County, crews spent Friday night cleaning up.

“We had two barns that were blown down, a lot of trees blown down, they had fence lines on them. We have cows everywhere,” said Roger Nutter with Maple View Farms.

Nutter said one cow was injured and one person sustained minor injuries as a result of the storm.

“She was in the barn when it hit and a board came down and bumped her in the head,” he said.

Todd McGee, the Orange County community relations official said the county has received reports of damage, mainly in the area of Interstate 40 at Exit 261.

Sheriff Charles Blackwood said there was only one report of severe damage to a home and photos from the scene showed the roof had been torn off the house and furniture was strewn across the grass.

“It’s completely devastated, but nobody lives here. We’re very fortunate,” Blackwood said.

Several cars had been damaged by debris and multiple trees were blocking roads, but no injuries were reported.

“This is very devastating when you look at those trees. The ground was wet, but those are huge trees ripped up,” Blackwood said.

Resident Mike Dodson said he had just taken cover in his basement when he heard the possible tornado move through.

“It was a very distinct sound when it came through. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life,” he said. “There was not mistaking something was going to happen pretty bad.”

Dodson said the worst of the storm moved out quickly, but felled about 30 trees on his property, damaging cars but sparing his house.

“We’re doing fine at this point, just trying to take in the magnitude of the damage,” he said. “We’re waiting for the rain to stop so we can start some sort of cleanup.”

Across the street, a house lost its roof.

“It’s sort of sad really. I’m just glad no one was in it,” said Vossie Horton, whose son owns the home. “A year ago, there would have been two people in that house.”

On Summerwood Road, chainsaws were run by neighbors helping each other through the damage.

“We have a shed gone, that garage behind us. The swimming pool is gone,” resident Samantha Pearce said. “It was all neighbors in our community. Everybody worked together to clear it.”

In Siler City, the winds demolished and blew the remains of a carport into the front yard of a home. Photos showed the roof of the structure remained at the side of the house while the metal siding blew and wrapped around a tree.

“I feel safe, but I’ve got to keep going anyway. Everything is going to be ok,” homeowner Nicando Ortega said. “It’s been my house for more than 15 years.”

Across the street, a tree had fallen on the roof of a house. No injuries were reported in either incident.

“We were very lucky and we’ll just continue to be out and about, helping people get access to their homes and whatever they need to,” Chatham County Communications Director Debra Henzey said following the storm.

Resident Ben Sharpe said he took cover when he heard the storm move through.

“I basically had to hold my hands over my ears to get to the point where I could stand it and I went into the hallway,” he said.

Sharpe said that his car and the roof his his house were damaged and he will need to find another place to stay Friday night, but nobody was injured.

In Cumberland County, Assistant County Manager Sally Shutt said that trees were down across the county, including at least two that fell on houses. Several other trees fell on power lines, resulting in outages near the Cross Creek Mall in the area of Morganton Road, Bragg Boulevard and Sycamore Dairy Road.

Gene Booth with Cumberland County Emergency Services said the worst of the storm lasted for about 40 minutes before moving out. By about 7:30 p.m., he said crews had already restored power to several areas and removed trees that were blocking roadways.

A massive tree was uprooted and fell across the driveway of a home on Muirfield Drive in Fuquay-Varina, but the homeowner said he had warned his wife to move their cars just minutes before the storm moved through.

“Her Lexus would have gotten crushed right there. We’re very lucky,” he said. “Everybody is safe and sound and we consider ourselves very lucky.”

The Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a report of a home that had been destroyed by winds and trees that fell on power lines.

by Janine Bowen & Deborah Strange (2019, Apr 19 | Updated 2019, Apr 20) WRAL

the author

Kyrie Wagner