Meteorologists say the severe weather produced damaging straight-line winds, lightning strikes, and a few tornado watches.
In Wake Forest, a tree fell on a house on Harris Point Way damaging the front of it.
Homeowner Suzanne Bailey and her husband were at church when the storm rolled through. A massive tree slammed into her home, damaging her garage and roof. Water poured into her kitchen.
Her red Mustang convertible - a gift for her 65th birthday - was in the garage when the tree fell on it.
"It's devastating to see what's happened," Bailey said. "You start thinking about all you've lost, but then you remember we're okay, so that's fine."
The storm also knocked down several trees and nearly ripped the roof off a home in the Johnston County community of Archer's Lodge. No one was hurt.
And a house fire in Cary and another in Garner are blamed on lightning strikes.
At one point, several thousand homes were without power. Most of that has since been restored.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, officials say a Polk County man died when a tree fell on his pickup truck.
The Hendersonville Times-News reported that 55-year-old William Allison was driving near his home when a tree was blown over late Wednesday afternoon.
A Wilson County family lost the roof from a mobile home during a strong thunderstorm. Greg Franklin says he and his son were inside their Elm City home when the roof was torn off about 5 p.m. Wednesday. No one was hurt.