Storms causes damage, long wet commute Tuesday

Tree crashes into Garner mobile home.

April 5, 2011 10:23:18 AM PDT
A line of severe storms moving across North Carolina overnight into Tuesday morning knocked down trees and caused scattered power outages, which led to a messy commute.ABC11 Meteorologist Don Schwenneker said some of the storms were strong, even severe with some damaging winds.

In Garner, a tree broke and fell through a mobile home just before 5 a.m. on Green Pine Drive off Old Stage Road.

No one inside the home was hurt, but the homeowner says the tree came within inches of the bed her mother was sleeping in.

"A tree fell probably like inches away from her bed," Lorena Gilarranz said. "And she said she felt like the ground vibrating, she thought it was lightning that hit outside. When she woke up, she saw the tree right in front of her. Her first reaction was to come to the rooms to see if everybody was okay."

The tree fell with such force, it not only put a hole in the ceiling, but it drove itself into the ground.

An hour earlier in Durham, a fallen tree blocked part of the street on Academy Road and another tree fell on a house in the 1300 block of Carolina Avenue.

Hours later, a tree hit a house on Guess Road and started a small fire. Then traffic lights went out between I-40 and MLK Boulevard in Durham and on Wade Avenue in Raleigh. Around the same time, a roof was partially blown off a house in Kenly.

While the wind blew hard in the Triangle, the Sandhills picked up more rain. More than an inch fell in Fayetteville and other parts of Cumberland County.

"Had a few trees down across the roadway over near the Sampson County line," Emergency Management Director Timothy Mitchell said. "Had some down on power lines over in the Wynngate Road area. We had no report of flooding ... very needed rain due to the drought that we've been in, so we were real lucky on that."

Areas around Charlotte and the Triad appeared to be hardest hit.

The National Weather Service says officials in Greensboro reported 20 homes damaged by falling trees.

In Charlotte, the fire department says it responded to nearly 100 calls at the height of the storms. Even though the worst weather has moved out, the morning rush hour could be snarled as part of Interstate 485 south of Charlotte is closed by fallen power lines.

Tuesday morning's conditions are also to blame for leaving several people without power. Both Duke Energy and Progress Energy each reported about 15,000 power outages across the state due to stormy conditions.

The storms also caused some traffic slowdowns for the morning commute, due to slick spots and debris on the roads. Several accidents were reported across the Triangle.

In Raleigh, a car struck a power line pole and crashed into a wooded area causing a four-car pile-up.

Meanwhile, the weather cleared by mid-afternoon and temperatures rebounded into the low and mid-60s.

"There's a chance for some frost tonight as cool high pressure builds in and temperatures fall into the mid-30s," he said.

The rest of the week looks great. After Tuesday's cool down, temperatures will steadily increase to the mid 80s by the weekend.

Click here for the 7-day forecast

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