RALEIGH, N.C. — A band of severe storms marched across central North Carolina Wednesday afternoon, moving quickly from west to east.
Tornado warnings, watches and other severe weather alerts were in effect most of the day for eastern North Carolina but the storm moved through the area causing little damage.
By 4:30 p.m., the line of storms had moved east of Interstate 95 and out to sea.
Despite the heavy rains and high winds, there was only one report of damage as the front moved through.
In Bladen County, a tree fell across N.C. Highway 53 just west of White Oak, causing minor traffic delays.
Triangle getting drenched
The storms brought a steady rainfall, heavy at times, to the Triangle and central North Carolina.
At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 1.42 inches of rain fell. Rocky Mount saw just over 2 inches, and in Fayetteville, there was nearly an inch.
"That is much needed rain," WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said.
Behind the storm system, sunshine returns and dry weather will prevail, but daytime highs will barely reach 50 degrees and the overnight lows will dip below freezing to finish the week.
Wednesday's weather shake-up follows a Christmas gift of partly sunny skies, highs in the low 60s and no rain.
In many parts of the nation, however, conditions were anything but cheery.
A Christmas Day twister outbreak left damage across the Deep South while holiday travelers in the nation's much colder midsection battled sometimes treacherous driving conditions from freezing rain and blizzard conditions.
The death toll rose to six with car accidents on snow and sleet-slickened highways in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Post-Christmas travelers braced for flight delays and a raft of weather warnings for drivers, a day after rare winter twisters damaged buildings in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Snow blew across southern Illinois and southern Indiana early Wednesday as the storm tracked up the Ohio River valley toward the Eastern seaboard and New England.
There were whiteout conditions in parts of southwestern Indiana, where 6 inches or more of snow had fallen by mid-morning around Evansville. State police reported dozens of vehicles stuck after not being able to get up a hill on a central Indiana highway, while some roads around Evansville were impassable with wind gusts around 30 mph.
A blizzard warning was in effect for much of the state's southern two-thirds and more than a dozen counties issued travel watches asking residents to make only essential driving trips.
In snowy Arkansas, the storm left more than 189,000 customers without electricity Wednesday.