2 tornadoes hit areas near Charlotte, officials confirm - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

2 tornadoes hit areas near Charlotte, officials confirm

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This cloud was seen Monday in Union Co. near Monroe and US 74. A trooper reported that he saw a tornado. (Source: Alan Beasley) This cloud was seen Monday in Union Co. near Monroe and US 74. A trooper reported that he saw a tornado. (Source: Alan Beasley)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two counties in the Charlotte region were hit by tornadoes during all of the weather from Tropical Storm Lee, officials have confirmed.

One of the twisters was as wide as a football field is long and went almost a mile on the ground.

One tornado hit 6 miles north of Monroe in Union County. Many folks took photos of the twister, which was a EF-0 with winds around 75 mph, a width of 40 yards and a path of 1/8 of a mile.

A stronger larger storm hit in Stanly County, where WBTV viewers sent in photos of destroyed trees and debris (click on slideshow for damage photos). There, an 80 mph twister dropped from the sky just before 9 pm and went nearly a mile on the ground and was 100 yards wide.

The twister was just south of Richfield on Rogers Road and tore the roof off of four wooden outbuildings with metal sheet roofing, officials said. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed while the other two were intact despite considerable roof damage.

Debris from these buildings were scattered for 200-300 yards  in a circular pattern and included half inch thick metal
fencing that had been twisted and displaced one hundred yards, officials said.

 

In Watauga County, 4-7 inches of rain fell within a 24-hour period resulting in flash flooding

Reporter Ron Lee was at the Boone Mall Tuesday where water from a nearby creek overflowed its banks. It constantly rained for more than eight hours from late Monday night until early Tuesday morning. Several cars in the mall parking lot were flooded this morning and at least three people had to be rescued from their vehicles.

"As we get some breaks of sun and heat up this afternoon, a line of severe thunderstorms will likely form as a front crosses the area," said WBTV Meteorologist Al Conklin. "Watch out for gusty winds and localized flooding, even isolated tornadoes later today with a high of 83 degrees."

Early Tuesday morning, Duke Energy reported about 3,000 customers without electric service, most in Cabarrus County, northeast of Charlotte.

Progress Energy reported nearly 2,500 customers without service, most around Asheville and southwest of Sanford.

Mother Nature decided to work overtime on Labor Day as tornado warnings and watches popped up throughout the Charlotte region on Monday. No damage was reported, and in the case of most of the tornado warnings, it does not appear any funnel clouds actually formed.

In Union County, however, a state trooper spotted a funnel cloud near Highway 601 a little west of Unionville. WBTV checked out the area it was spotted in and there did not appear to be any significant damage. That funnel cloud was confirmed Tuesday afternoon by National Weather Service workers.

The forecast is calling for mostly cloudy conditions Tuesday night. Eventually, the showers and thunderstorms will slowly die down with a low of 64 degrees.

Wednesday will bring us partly sunny skies, but it will still be on the humid side. Most of the area should be rain free with a high near 80 degrees.

As for Hurricane Katia, her wind speeds were about 125 mph Tuesday morning making her a Category 3 major hurricane. The storm was located about 400 miles south of Bermuda. 

"All models strongly suggest the storm will remain offshore, making its closest approach to the Outer Banks Thursday night," Conklin said. "High surf, large swells and strong rip currents will be an issue all along the east coast until the weekend."

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