Severe thunderstorms push through central North Carolina, toppling trees and knocking out power

Storm damage leaves power out, big cleanup ahead
Powerful storms knock down trees and power lines and leaves tens of thousands without power.

A large-scale cleanup effort is underway across the Triangle after powerful thunderstorms tore through the area Tuesday afternoon, knocking down trees and powerlines, and leaving one person dead in Durham.

Tens of thousands of people remained without power, mostly in the Durham area.

And late Tuesday, Durham Public Schools announced that because of hazardous road conditions and widespread power outages, schools will be closed for students on Wednesday. Staffers at DPS year-round, specialty high schools, and central services offices will operate on a two-hour delay.

Storm leaves 1 dead

Durham Police confirmed to ABC11 late Tuesday that the storm took a deadly turn. DPD said 78-year-old Donna Warshaw of Hillsborough was killed when a tree fell on her car.

Police said a Hillsborough woman died after a tree fell on her SUV in Durham during the powerful storm.

It happened on Anderson Street at Morehead Avenue and Cranford Road near Duke University's campus.

The tree also fell on power lines. Police said Anderson Street and Morehead Avenue are expected to remain closed for several more hours while crews work to clear the road.

Power Outages

As of 11 p.m., nearly 70,000 were without power in Durham County and several thousand more were without electricity in Wake and Orange counties. Across the state, more than 116,000 were without power.

Check the Duke Energy power outage map here.

RELATED | Here's how to report and check power outages in your area

Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy tells ABC11 crews are out and working to restore power and clean up power lines as quickly as possible.

Severe weather amped up starting around 3 p.m.

Warnings popped up for several counties as storms packed with heavy rain, damaging wind, and loads of lightning passed through the region.

Traffic Alert: Downed trees and power lines

In the heart of Durham, storms quickly moved through busy streets right toward Javier Temas' house

Tree falls, blocks road in Durham

"In just a few minutes, you just hear bam, something bad," Temas said.

His family was OK, but he showed ABC11 where a tree tore through the roof of his home near Liberty and Guthrie streets.

"I worry about family and that everybody is OK," Temas said. "You see a couple blocks away and it's bad."

Just a few blocks away near Driver Street, live wires fell on the road as police blocked off the area where power lines were down.

And Hyde Park Avenue at Holloway Street was blocked by a massive tree that took down power lines on both sides of the road, hitting homes with debris flying everywhere.

Fallen tree blocks Roxboro Street near I-85 in Durham.

Jamario Perry had trees and limbs crash onto his home in Argonne Hills.

"The wind picked up and all heck broke loose," Perry said. "Just hoping trees won't fall on my house and it holds up. It was pretty intense."

Perry said it was scary but "you gotta respect mother nature."

In Durham, police reported numerous trees knocking down power lines and creating dangerous situations. Here's a list of streets closed:

  • Anderson Street and Cranford Road
  • West Markham Avenue and North Gregson Road
  • Norwood Avenue and Myers Street
  • Hope Valley Road and West Cornwallis Road
  • Hope Valley Road and University Drive
  • North Driver Street and Liberty Street
  • 1100 block of North Miami Boulevard
  • N Roxboro/Chateau Rd.
  • 800 block W Club Blvd
  • Hillandale Road at Hillsborough Road
  • 400 block of Old Oxford Road
  • 500 block of Hardee Street
  • 100 block of Lamond Avenue

DPD said shortly after 8:30 p.m. that the following streets have reopened:

  • 2500 block of North Duke Street
  • 1900 block of Camden Avenue
  • Morehead Avenue and Shoppers Street
  • 3700 block of Wake Forest Highway
  • 1000 block of North Hyde Park
  • Northgate Park entrance
  • Shannon Road and University Drive
  • West Main and Buchanan Boulevard

Storms also took down trees and power lines in northern Wake County. The Northern Wake Fire Department said it responded to dozens of calls of wires down, broken power poles, and trees on houses.

One of the numerous trees that fell during Tuesday's storm. This one was in the 15000 block of Creedmoor Road (Highway 50).
Courtesy of Northern Wake Fire Department.

No major injuries were reported but power will likely be out for some time north of I-540 along Creedmoor Road, as well as east on Old Weaver Trail, and west on Old Weaver Trail, in the Dutchville section of Wake County.

In Hillsborough, a family was left in shock after a large tree fell on their home of more than 40 years, causing major damage.

A family is left devastated after a tree came crashing down on their home on Orange Grove Road in Hillsborough..

These storms came after an extremely hot day. Many areas saw feels-like temperatures up above 110 degrees.