Severe storms devastate property, knock out power across western NC

(Credit: Sonya Crisp)
(Credit: Sonya Crisp)
(Source: Chimney Rock State Park)
(Source: Chimney Rock State Park)

A line of strong storms impacted parts of North Carolina Monday, damaging homes, toppling trees, closing roads and leaving communities across several counties without power.

The storm brought flooding and damage to property, but caused no serious injuries or loss of life according to Governor Roy Cooper.

"While this band of storms brought high wind, rains and some damage, we're fortunate that we've had no reports of serious injuries or loss of life," said Governor Cooper. "Today, communities are surveying the damage and beginning the cleanup, and our state experts stand ready to help however needed."

The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings and watches for many western and central counties.

Approximately 54,500 homes and businesses were still without power as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, down from more than 92,000 Monday night.

The most outages were in Catawba, Wilkes, Alexander, Burke and Caldwell counties, while authorities in Watauga and McDowell counties reportedly completed water rescues as a result of flash floods in the area.

NWS concluded a portion of the storm survey for North Carolina. An tornado traveled from Rutherford County along the Highway 221A corridor into Cleveland County Monday afternoon. Preliminary results of the assessment confirmed a EF1 tornado.

The storm caused several road closures in the state.

A section of US 64 in Henderson County was closed due to a small mudslide, but has since reopened. Downed power lines and trees closed secondary roads in Alexander, Ashe, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland and Wilkes counties. High water submerged bridges in Watauga County and flooded roads in Henderson and Polk County.

Winds destroyed a hangar and overturned planes and cars at the Hickory Regional Airport. Heavy rainfall caused a retaining wall at the top parking lot of the Chimney Rock section of Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County. The section will be closed until further notice while repairs are completed.

Schools were closed today in Alexander county, while Ashe, Caldwell and Catawba County schools are on a two-hour delay. Five Caldwell schools were closed for the day due to trees blocking roads or power outages.

Burke, Caldwell, Wilkes and Catawba counties declared local states of emergency due to the storms, which allows them to seek state or federal aid if necessary.


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