Local News

Lee County Hardest Hit by Wednesday Storms

Posted July 22, 1998

— It was a night of intense storms in some parts of eastern North Carolina. Lee County was the hardest hit, and Thursday folks there were cleaning up.

People are doing the best they can, given the hot, sticky weather they have to work in. Many said it was hard to imagine that wind can do so much damage. A barn made of cinder blocks belonging to the McKinney family toppled to the ground in the storm.

Managers of a nearby auto repair shop found the building's roof laying atop some of the vehicles inside. Neither building was insured.

One man was injured in Lee County when the wind toppled a tree that came through the roof of his mobile home as he slept. The tree didn't strike him, but he was startled awake and suffered a heart attack.

The storm's path was about a half-mile long and 200 yards wide. Huge, old trees fell in the path of strong winds. At least two mobile homes were destroyed.

Storm victim Fred Sloan said, "We've got a lot of friends and neighbors and people who help out. We've been through a similar situation before, and everybody pitches in. You just overcome it and go on."

A plane was flipped over at the local airport, and other planes and hangars were damaged. It's estimated that there was about $75,000 in damage in the county.

The director of the Lee County emergency management agency has requested 10 crews of state prison inmates to help farmers pick up tobacco that was spread all over fields by high winds.

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