Local News

Heavy Thunderstorms Roll Through Triangle Saturday Night

Posted August 12, 2001

— Heavy thunderstorms in the Triangle caused flooding, power outages, and downed power lines and trees Saturday night, and also caused a serious accident in Garner.

Ten people were injured in a three-car accident on Garner Road near Auburn-Knightdale Road. The injured were taken to WakeMed. Their names and conditions have not been released.

Flooding was reported at the Oak Creek Village apartment complex in Chapel Hill. Enough water seeped under the doors to soak the carpets. The water receded, and there were no injuries.

The floor and the furniture in three units was soaked.

At Johnson Cadillac in Durham, at least 50 cars took on water.

"The water came up to the top of the cars on the front row. The cars on the front row were completely submerged. On the second row, the water came up halfway up the windows, and on the back row, the water was up to the doors," said employee Connie Barbee.

At the height of the storm, a fire was reported in Cary. The flames torched the second floor of a home on Tibbots Rock Drive. Investigators are not sure how it started yet, but they think the home may have been struck by lightning.

Firefighters put it out just a few minutes after they arrived.

In North Raleigh, winds ripped through the Abbotsbury Court neighborhood, which is between Creedmoor and Lead Mine Roads. The winds ripped up some trees and tore apart Peggy Esposito's backyard deck. She was about to walk out the backdoor onto her deck, when trees came crashing down.

"Within five seconds, everything was down, and there was this big crack. I'll never forget that crack. I jsut stood and watched, and all you could see was greenery, just everything crashing down," Esposito said.

Scattered power outages throughout the Triangle left several thousand residents without power.

A Durham County sheriff's deputy reported that he spotted a tornado touch down about four miles northeast of Bethesda Saturday night.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for eastern Durham County and northwest Wake County after the deputy reported the tornado around 7:10 p.m. The warning lasted approximately 30 minutes.

The reported sighting was about seven miles east of Durham at Leesville Road and U.S. 70.

A dispatcher with the Durham County Sheriff's Department said the sighting was unconfirmed and that there were no immediate reports of damage from the storm.

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