Local News

Coastal Areas Hit By Heavy Rain, Strong Winds From Charley

Posted August 15, 2004

— Heavy rain and strong winds were felt in the coastal areas of North Carolina from Tropical Storm Charley. But for the most part, the state avoided major

damage

.

The southern beaches took the worst pounding from Charley. In Ocean Isle, the hurricane peeled rooftops from homes.

"It was just like opening a can of beans. It just peeled right back and went over the top of the house across the street," said Clyde Hunt, who witnessed the roof coming off his house. "We've enjoyed it down here for almost 40 years, and this is the first time we have really had major damage like this."

Officials said it took Charley about an hour and a half to pass over Wrightsville Beach. Many residents plan to spend Sunday cleaning up from the storm.

"I think we dodged a bullet this time. We didn't get a very, bad storm, and it was a fast storm, so it didn't stay long," Wrightsville Beach homeowner Peter Gabriele said.

The National Weather Service is investigating a reported tornado on the Outer Banks. Strong winds hit Kitty Hawk Saturday. Several buildings were damaged and trees were knocked down. Windows were also blown out of vehicles, and some minor injuries are reported.

The ocean moved and came ashore in Onslow County. Sandbags protected property, but windbreakers were no match. In Greenville, Hurricane Charley shook billboards, moved traffic signals and tossed tree limbs into the street.

In Raleigh, Hurricane Charley was just a rain event. Crabtree Creek, which has a reputation for flooding during heavy rain, moved out of its banks and across a parking lot near Wake Forest Road.

North Carolina started the day with three open shelters. At the height of the storm, there were 85, but as the storm passed, shelters were closed.

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