Local News

Clean-Up Begins in Storm-Ravaged Goldsboro

Posted August 11, 2007
Updated August 12, 2007

— Goldsboro residents awoke Saturday morning to scattered debris and other damage from Friday night’s storm.

Winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour ripped through the area, leaving thousands of residents in the dark.

Also hard hit was a Days Inn hotel in Goldsboro, which lost most of its roof in the storm. Nearly 100 guests were staying inside at the time, and four people suffered minor injuries. Guests were taken to a make-shift shelter at Goldsboro Middle School.

Lance Casey and his wife had been staying at the hotel for two weeks. They returned Saturday to retrieve what they could of their belongings.

“You never expect to get hit in a motel. I’m just glad everybody made it out alright,” Casey said. “I’ve recovered some stuff out of there. I don’t know if I got everything. I don’t know what’s missing and what isn’t. I’m going to have to go through the stuff later and find out.”

Ed Cianfarra, a chief building inspector, said Days Inn probably has about $1 million worth of damages.

Businesses weren’t the only places cleaning up after the storm. Neighborhoods in Goldsboro were littered with tree debris, and about a dozen homes had damage from trees falling on them.

Shirley Sullivan’s house on Holly Street has a history with hurricanes, she said. But Friday’s storm did more damage than Floyd and Bertha.

“And all this happened in like, 15 seconds,” Sullivan said.

Parts of a towering oak trounced her trellis. Sullivan said she heard the thud, and she and her husband scrambled to a hall closet for shelter.

“[I was] terrified. I was screaming,” she said.

Heather Vernatt was at home with her 8-month-old daughter and other family members Friday when they heard the storm roll through.

“All of a sudden, we heard a big – it sounded like somebody hit a car,” she said.

That sound was a tree limb hitting their roof. It punctured three holes.

The National Weather Service said Friday’s high-powered winds cut a swath 2.5 miles wide through the city of Goldsboro. Now, crews must clean up heaping piles of yard waste and work on downed power lines, which left thousands in the dark Friday.

Crews restored power to all customers by early Sunday morning, Progress Energy officials said.

Although 8,600 customers were out of power at the peak of the storm, some residents said the outage was not a big deal.

“No one was hurt. That’s the main thing,” Sullivan said.


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  • ptahandatum Aug 13, 2007

    Yep. Zeus might have been a little testy and caused some lightening and damage. You know how it is with those gods.

  • Adelinthe Aug 13, 2007

    We never get anything around Lake Wheeler either. We watch things come and go on radar, but it seems to go all around the lake most times, and our poor tomatoes are all burned up, even after diligent watering.

    This, however, isn't what anyone needed. Good old NC! We either get nothing at all, or we get head stomping gully washers.

    We'll take the rain Lord, but You could keep the thunder and lightning and wind. k

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Mmaker52 Aug 13, 2007

    I would hate to have stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks in Goldsboro. For what I ask myself?

    Being a military town they could have been coming in or headed out

  • lilwil Aug 13, 2007

    I was headed out to that area on Friday, but at the last minute I changed my mind. Thank God I didn't go out to Walmart at that time.

    I didn't even realize the damage caused until my mom and I rode around town. It was terrible. All I knew, is that when I looked out the window of my home and saw how the color of the sky was "RED" and there was a calmness that just felt eerie.

  • Worland Aug 13, 2007

    The National Weather Service didn't see any tornado's on the radar. Nothing more than a gusty T-Storm.

  • LIR Aug 12, 2007

    All I'm hearing is a storm but, what type of storm - maybe a tornado??

    We had a good rain storm in my little corner of the world but the sad thing is----> My grasss has now gone WILD!! :)

  • NCTeacher Aug 12, 2007

    I am SO glad I was out of town this weekend and missed this.

    But I did get to come home to my pool pump fried by lightening- for the 3rd time this summer!

  • PikeMom Aug 12, 2007

    I would hate to have stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks in Goldsboro. For what I ask myself?

  • newbie1 Aug 12, 2007

    Clayton never gets anything. I hear and see the storm and get excited then it goes around us. Its like we have a invisible wall around the town and it goes around. The whole state need a mild tropical storm to get out of the drought we have.

  • ladyblue Aug 12, 2007

    Clayton has had nothing. It bypassed us all week. NO rain. Tomatoes cooking on the vines. No rain. I don't want the storm damage but I sure ned some rain. My car needs washing. HA

    Glad no one was hurt seriously in these storms. Wild weather this year.