Strong winds result in near miss for Sanford couple

Posted July 9, 2014

— After strong winds whipped through Sanford early Wednesday afternoon, Billie Holsopple stood in the front yard of her Raleigh Street home, stunned by a near catastrophic event.

A large tree almost crashed into her home.

“Honest to God, with the wind blowing, I didn't hear it because there were trees and limbs blowing in the back there like a war zone,” she said while wiping away tears. “I didn't know if they were coming through the window or not.”

The tree fell within inches of her husband, Allen, who was in the bedroom.

“I got up about 15, 20 minutes, went out, had a sandwich,” he said. “Next thing I know, the tree come down.”

The strong winds also blew off roof shingles at Brass Kettle Family Restaurant on South Horner Boulevard. Customers and employees were inside the restaurant at the time. No injuries were reported.

"That's the most important thing, everybody was safe. This is just a structure," said restaurant owner Danny McNeill, who added that the wind peeling off the roof sounded like "a can being ripped open."

Sanford police reported strong winds that also brought down trees and a power line in the area of Horner Boulevard and Grove Street.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected to continue overnight Wednesday across central North Carolina. Radar Reflectivity iControl Interactive Doppler Radar

The region should expect the same Thursday afternoon and evening as a cold front moves through the area, bringing plenty of cloud cover along with more possible storms.

“For the first time in several days, the temperature will be under 90 because of all the storms and rain,” WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The high for Thursday and Friday is expected to drop into the upper 80s before hitting the low 90s over the weekend.

Afternoon thunderstorms are expected every day until the middle of next week.


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  • disgusted2010 Jul 10, 2014

    A dying old tree comes down in a bit of wind and this is "breaking news?"

    WRAL has become a sub-tabloid.

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  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jul 9, 2014

    Blessed to hear no one was hurt.

    Praying for everyone's safety, though it looks like the storm system is weakening, at least for today.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jul 9, 2014

    Let it rain! Let it rain! Let it rain!

    We get so little rain in Harnett when compared to the counties surrounding us, that this rain today is a welcome sight.