FIRST ALERT: Strong storms rip through WBTV viewing area

First Alert Forecast: Friday 11pm

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Tornado Watch issued for the entire WBTV viewing area was extended late Friday afternoon and was in effect until 8 p.m.

Tornado Warnings that were issued earlier for Alexander, Catawba, Iredell and Lincoln counties in NC and Chester and York counties in SC have since expired.

The storms that rolled through the area left behind plenty of damage, including damage to homes and buildings, downed trees and power outages.

Several roads across the area were closed due to the damage.

Severe weather moved into our area Friday afternoon, bringing heavy rain, damaging winds and the possibility of tornadoes to the entire WBTV viewing area.

The National Weather Service earlier upgraded Charlotte and all counties along and east of I-77 into a MODERATE risk zone for severe weather Friday afternoon.

That meant severe thunderstorms were likely, with very damaging winds and the potential of a few tornadoes. This didn’t mean that areas west of I-77 were off the hook. It just meant the greatest chance was in eastern sections that were likely to become more unstable than back to the west.

BE PREPARED! Download the free WBTV First Alert Weather App as this line of storms hits the WBTV viewing area

Now is the time to go over your severe weather plan. Where will you and your family go to stay safe if severe weather threatens your neighborhood?

If you have not already done so, please consider downloading the free WBTV First Alert Weather app on to your mobile device.

It features interactive radar, real-time lightning data and a breakdown of all watches, warnings and advisories. It’s a great tool to have at your fingertips if you’re away from the TV.

A line of severe thunderstorms materialized during mid-morning in the western part of the state, overspreading east through the afternoon. WBTV Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases expected “the greatest threat window between about 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. when severe weather will be most likely.”

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