Local News

Wake County Residents Say Tornado Tore Up Town

Posted August 25, 1999

— Some eastern Wake County residents spent Thursday morning cleaning up after a severe storm. The storm left a path of destruction residents say was the work of a tornado.

Residents say a tornado swept through around 8 a.m., ripping apart a mobile home and tearing two diesel tanks from their foundation. Fire officials spent the morning cleaning up the fuel.

Norman Dean came out after the storm to discover pieces of his tobacco barn in the trees, and his shelter was gone.

"This is the back wall," Dean points out. "You can see how far this pushed that building, and that's a well-built building. I mean it's got good timber, did have good timber."

Dean thinks the trail of destruction started near his tobacco field.

"The tobacco on the left is blown to the right and the tobacco here is blown to the left," he says.

Tobacco leaves are scattered all over; the wind was also powerful enough to uproot stalks.

"This is a tobacco stalk that was uprooted, broke off. You can see the end here. It broke off, and it was blown over 100 yards out of that tobacco field."

Next door, the Gangeweres lost their shelter and everything in it.

They have no doubt a twister was responsible.

"It looks like a tornado to me; it looks like a twister," Kevin Gangewere says. "I mean the winds out here -- it wasn't this bad during Fran."

TheNational Weather Servicehas not declared the storm a tornado, but the fire chief says it is as close as it gets.

"Radar can't tell us everything," Chief Tom Zaugan says. "Doppler radars are good, but it can't tell us everything."

CP&Lsays close to 1,400 customers lost power as a result of the storm. Most of those homes are back online now.

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