Local News

Fuquay-Varina May Have Had Twister

Posted April 19, 1998

— What it was, was strong winds. On that everyone agrees. But some witnesses in Fuquay-Varina say it was a tornado that touched down briefly, leaving a calling card of damage along Main Street.

The storm snapped tree trunks in half, pulled shingles and gutters from various structures and damaged the roof at Lincoln Heights Elementary School.

No injuries were reported.

Part of NC 55 was closed to enable crews to clear the roadway of tree limbs and trash that had been strewn by the storm.

Some spotters did report seeing a funnel cloud in the area; the instruments at the National Weather Service at RDU did not pick up the configuration of a tornado.

Jim Merrell, a NWS meteorologist, conceded "definitely something did happen down there." He said it didn't appear very strong on radar, but such discrepancies can occur.

By 10 p.m., the storms had moved on. Sunday was marked with tornado warnings in at least a dozen counties, and watches in approximately 40 more, along with severe thunderstorms and the possibility of flash floods.

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