Thursday’s storms cause damage in Cabarrus Co., lightning starts fire on church

Several families and a college are cleaning up after strong thunderstorms left damage across Cabarrus County.
Several families and a college are cleaning up today after strong thunderstorms left damage across Cabarrus County recently.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 8:52 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Several families and a college are cleaning up after strong thunderstorms left damage across Cabarrus County on Thursday.

One man on Rocky River Road had at least seven trees uprooted or snapped in half by the strong winds.

“Heavy rain and real strange noise, I don’t know if it was a tornado or not,” Andrew Walker said.

Walker and his family were inside their home, just feet away from where the trees fell.

“We did hear it, we actually seen it out the window,” he said.

A few houses down, his neighbors are relying on a generator after the storm knocked out power.

“We looked out the window just to kind of see what was going on and then my husband noticed that the ground started going boom, boom, and he saw this big tree starting to fall down,” Amber Olafsson said. “It fell down and it hit both my parents’ camper, and our camper, caused a ton of damage. It fell right on a power line and so we instantly lost power.”

The storm didn’t stop there, a bolt of lightning started a fire at the chapel of Barber Scotia College.

“We do have some internal damage that’s from water, roofing, pews and things of that sort,” Dr. Tracey Flemmings, interim president of Barber Scotia College, said.

The college credits the actions of a neighbor who saw the lighting strike.

“A gentleman was sitting on his porch, so he saw the lightning when it actually hit, he didn’t see the smoke initially, so maybe 10 seconds, 15 seconds later is when he saw the smoke and that’s when he called the fire department,” Dr. Flemmings said. “Because of his quick action, we were definitely able to salvage a lot.”

People in Cabarrus County are just thankful no one was injured by the storm.

“We were safe, that’s the main thing,” Walker said.

“It wasn’t a coincident that a big storm came yesterday, and we trusted God to protect us,” Olafsson said.

People here have called in contractors to clean up trees here and make repairs to their roofs.

Barber Scotia College said it needs financial support from the community to help repair the chapel.

Related: Work continues to restore power, clean up debris after Thursday’s severe storms

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