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Possible tornado damage reported in Charlotte area during fierce storms, NWS says

In World
April 12, 2024

A damage survey team from the National Weather Service was headed to the Rowan County community of Mount Ulla Friday morning to confirm if a tornado struck during Thursday night’s fierce Charlotte-area storms.

The team could issue its findings by about 5 p.m. Friday, meteorologist Jeff Taylor of the weather service office in Greer, South Carolina, told The Charlotte Observer.

Emergency crews on Friday continued to clear downed power lines and trees that toppled onto homes, cars and streets during the storms.

Concord in Cabarrus County and more rural areas of neighboring Rowan County saw the worst damage in the Charlotte area from the storms, Taylor said.

Straight-line winds caused major damage to a home in the 14000 block of N.C. 801 in Mount Ulla, just east of Mooresville, according to reports by emergency officials on X, formerly Twitter.

The same winds knocked trees onto cars and blew part of the roof off Mount Ulla Elementary School on N.C. 801, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Storm damage, power outages

In Concord, fallen power lines and trees blocked seven intersections, and at least 2,500 Duke Energy customers lost power, city officials said on X.

“Please use caution as you travel throughout the day,” Concord Emergency Management officials posted Friday morning on X.

The intersections were Edgewood Drive at Church Street North; Franklin Avenue at Spring Street Northwest; Stough Road at Marlboro Drive; Spring Street at Marsh and Franklin avenues; 2nd Street at Cabarrus Avenue; Ann Street at Eudy Drive; and Odell Drive at Elm Avenue.

“Find alternate routes and stay safe,” Concord Police said on X.

During the storms, rescuers pulled at least one person from a home on Morris Drive in Harrisburg, Charlotte Observer news partner WSOC reported. The person’s condition was unknown.

“They sawed out the side of the house and made a door where the window is and basically just carried them out of the house on the backboard,” neighbor Frank Canup told the station.

At 10 a.m. Friday, 200 Duke Energy customers were still without power in Cabarrus County and 140 in Rowan County, down from several thousand the night before, according to the Duke Energy outage map.

Storms race through NC counties

Thunderstorms raced through Mecklenburg and surrounding counties on Thursday night, leaving at least several thousand Duke Energy customers without power. No injuries were reported.

The entire Charlotte area was under a tornado watch for several hours, and weather service meteorologists warned of 65-mph winds and half-inch hail during the night.

The weather service’s Greer office warned of the threat of severe weather in a hazardous weather outlook bulletin at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday and again at 4:25 a.m. Thursday.

Widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms will cross the area this morning,” according to Thursday’s alert. “Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and early evening.

The alert also warned that “some of the storms may produce heavy rainfall, possibly leading to isolated flooding. An isolated severe storm is possible this afternoon and early evening, with damaging winds the main threat.

“Very gusty non-thunderstorm winds are expected to develop overnight,” NWS forecasters said in the alert.

The area also included the Carolinas’ mountains, N.C. foothills and Upstate South Carolina.

The system highlighted the importance of having a severe-weather plan for your household, meteorologist Josh Palmer of the weather service office in Greer, South Carolina, told The Charlotte Observer.

Such plans include where it’s safest to seek shelter in your home, and the emergency supplies you should always have on hand.

In January, an F1 tornado hit Catawba County, killing one.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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