Teen describes destructive storm as 'ocean wave' that transformed into 'cyclone'

Teen describes destructive storm as 'ocean wave' that transformed into 'cyclone'

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Steele Creek area sounded more like a lumber yard than it did a growing suburb of Charlotte, early Thursday morning.

The storms that rolled in overnight focused their strength specifically on that area.

Shingles from the steeple of Central Steele Creek Presbyterian church were peeled back like a banana.

Trees on the property and nearby were sliced in half.

And if you think the aftermath looks bad, imagine if you witnessed this destruction.

"We were doing car rider line in the rain," said Brooke Fogleman, who was outside the church as the rain started coming down Wednesday night.

Fogleman works at an after school program right next door to the church at the YMCA Youth Program Center in Steele Creek.

She was about to run inside to get out of the rain when the wind picked up.

"Then all the sudden my umbrella broke in half," she said.

"At first it looked like an ocean wave then it collapsed into a cyclone and then it touched down."

Instinct kicked in and the 18-year-old took off.

"Trees flying everywhere around me," she said. "I was screaming trying to open the door and it just wouldn't open."

Brooke was stuck outside. Even her co-workers couldn' force the back door open because of the storm's pressure.

"My shoes ripped open at the bottom," she said. "I was terrified, sitting down crying."

She says it lasted 45 seconds and at some point during the chaos she called her mom.

"All I could hear was her in the background," said her mother Catherine Fogleman.  "All this static and all she kept saying was 'Mom, mom... Don't leave work' and then the phone went dead."

Fogleman wasn't hurt and neither were her co-workers inside the building.

Choir members practicing across the parking lot at the church were also unhurt.

A two-person team from the National Weather Service is investigating the area were Fogleman watched the storm touch down to figure out whether it was a tornado.

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