Local News

Strong Winds Cause Damage, Power Outages Across Triangle

Posted January 18, 2006

— Strong winds tore branches from trees that tore down power lines overnight, leaving more than 2,000 homes in the dark after sunrise.

WRAL WeatherCenter

Video:

The strongest recorded wind-gust was 46 miles per hour. That may not sound like much, but it was enough to create some familiar sounds on Wednesday morning.

The chain saws were busy most of Tuesday night, after high winds ripped a giant oak from Mack Peedin's Johnson County yard.

"I feel fortunate," said Peedin.

The tree did spare his house, but not the nearby power lines. Peedin watched Wednesday as heavy machinery moved what's left of his tree and gingerly moved branches off the lines.

Those lines also feed power to Selma Elementary, where the school's clock was frozen at 12:16 am on Wednesday. Crews worked through the night, restoring power to the school. By mid-morning, things were returning to normal and students and parents were ready to get on with their day.

In Apex, a blue tarp covered the corner of Eric Davis' house. Debris littered his yard, and a neighbor's tree crashed into the upstairs.

"Thought it was thunder at first," said Davis.

He quickly realized it was much more, and just how fortunate he is.

"It hit right above my daughter's bedroom," said Davis. "And she slept right through it...very lucky."

Insurance should help replace the siding and roof, as well as a hole in the wall. Davis is taking it all in stride.

"I don't know what we're going to do tonight to top that," he said.

Progress Energy reports more than 3,000 customers lost power. Duke Power says 8,000 lost electricity statewide, but not many in the Triangle.

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