The National Weather Service issued Tornado Warnings for Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Lenoir, Robeson, and Sampson counties before cancelling them. One storm travelled east of Clinton, but police there said there were no reports of damage.
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Authorities said Thursday afternoon that they had received unconfirmed reports of twisters and trees and power lines are down in several western Carolina communities.
Thousands are also without power. Duke Energy reported about 9,000 customers without service and Progress Energy reported nearly 10,000 were in the dark.
The damage early Thursday was concentrated near the communities of Little River and Saw Mills, said LouAnne Kincade, spokeswoman for Caldwell County, N.C.
A house was destroyed in Scaly, near the North Carolina-Georgia state line. Officials in Hot Springs in Madison County, near the North Carolina-Tennessee state line, said overnight storms destroyed and damaged some roofs. Strong winds brought down trees and power lines in Henderson and Transylvania counties in the early morning hours.
Central North Carolina is still recovering from April 16 storms that killed 23 people and displaced hundreds. Many survivors remain in temporary housing.