Severe weather hits NC Tuesday; tornadoes, flooding reported

Posted April 28, 2014
Updated April 30, 2014

— The National Weather Service has issued severe weather watches and warnings for several counties as severe thunderstorms capable of producing hail, strong winds and tornadoes move through the area Tuesday.

Here are updates as they happened: 

4:53 a.m. Tuesday – The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Durham, Orange and Chatham counties until 5:30 a.m.

9:07 p.m. – The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Greene, Lenoir and Pitt counties until 9:45 p.m.

9 p.m. – The National Weather Service has extended tornado watches for Wake, Wilson, Sampson, Harnett, Johnston, Halifax, Franklin, Nash, Cumberland, Wayne and Edgecombe counties until 11 p.m.

8:30 p.m. – Sampson County deputies reported two hog farms on Church Road in Newton Grove were destroyed after a tornado touched down.  

8:15 p.m. – Interstate 95 is flooded in both directions of I-95 in Dunn, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol says.

8 p.m. – The National Weather Service has extended a tornado warning until 8:30 p.m. for Sampson County. At 7:52 p.m., Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm 10 miles northwest of Clinton and moving northeast at 20 mph. Locations affected include Newton Grove, Salemburg and Hobbton.

Reports of a funnel cloud on Honeycutt Road between Piney Green and Bearskin, but no reports of damage at this time.

7:45 p.m . –  A tornado watch has been re-issued for 16 counties: Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Nash, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland, Wake, Wayne and Wilson.

7:38 p.m. – The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning until 8:15 p.m. for Sampson County.  At 7:33 p.m., Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. This storm was located 12 miles west of Clinton and was moving northeast at 10 mph. In addition to a tornado, large damaging hail up to golf-ball size is possible. Affected locations include Clinton, Roseboro and Salemburg,

7 p.m. – Flooding continues to be a problem in some parts of eastern North Carolina. Flash flood warnings are in effect until 8:45 p.m. for Cumberland and Wilson counties and 9 p.m. for Edgecombe County.

Tornado watches remain in effect until 9 p.m. for 15 counties east of U.S. Highway 1: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington.

6:44 p.m. – Cumberland County Emergency Services says authorities and EMS responded to a tornado that touched down in the Stedman area on John Nunnery Road and Ken Hancock Street around 4:15 p.m.

Gov. Pat McCrory, who was in Fayetteville Tuesday, will go to Stedman this evening to survey damage.

Tornado watches have been cleared for all areas west of U.S. Highway 1, basically means from the Triangle area on north and west. Some new thunderstorms are developing in Harnett County, however, although nothing severe right now.

WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel: "It's beginning to look as if the Triangle as avoided the severe weather threat today but that might not be the case tomorrow."

6:39 p.m. – Cumberland County asking people NOT to call 911 for storm damage or flooding unless there is an immediate danger to health or life.

6:25 p.m. – Wilson authorities are asking people to stay at home or their current locations because of water on the roads. Cars are getting stuck.

Gordon Deno, with Wilson County Emergency Management: "We've got flooding all over the city and county right now, primarily intersections where people are driving through those intersections are getting stuck. … The situation we have is that we don't have enough responders to cover all the intersections we have, so we do rely a lot on the responsibility of the citizen.

"From the pictures I'm seeing right now, a lot of our citizens aren't being very responsible, and it's creating more issues for us because now we have to go rescue people out of flooded intersections."

6:15 p.m. – Multiple reports that Big Boy's Truck Stop WAS NOT hit by a tornado and that the truck stop has not been damaged.

Flash flood warning for Edgecombe County until 9:15 p.m.

Wilson Community College has canceled evening classes due to the flooding.

5:52 p.m. – The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning until 6:45 p.m. for Edgecombe County. At 5:49, Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 9 miles southwest of Tarboro that was moving northeast at 20 mph.

5:42 p.m. – Johnston County emergency officials say a tornado hit a truck stop called Big Boy's Truck Stop at Exit 105 off of Interstate 95 in Kenly.

Flash flood warning until 8:45 p.m. in Wilson. On Ward Boulevard in Wilson, streets covered in water. Heavy rain coming down in bursts. Vehicles trying to make way in standing water. Some getting stuck.

SAFETY WARNING: Drivers should avoid walking or driving in flooded areas and ditches. Six inches of flood water is enough to knock you over, and 2 feet can stall or float most vehicles. Debris and live power lines may also be in the standing water.

Several homes reportedly under water, including one on Brentwood Drive.

Flash flood warning until 8:45 p.m. for Cumberland County. Flooding reported at Townsend and Rock Fish in Hope Mills. Fayetteville EMS is receiving calls about people in cars stuck in water.

Shelter open in Johnston County at Blackman's Crossroads Fire Department, 5813 Highway 96 South in Four Oaks.

5:27 p.m. – Tornado warnings have expired but thunderstorm warnings in effect until 6:15 p.m. for several counties, including Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Sampson, Wayne, Wilson.

Heavy rain falling elsewhere, including Johnston and Wilson counties. Flooding reported in Wilson County. Quarter-sized to golf ball-sized hail reported in Fayetteville.

5:15 p.m. – Active funnel cloud reported in Autryville in Sampson County.

5 p.m. – Tornado warnings in Wilson, Edgecombe counties extended until 5:45 p.m.

Funnel cloud reported in Stedman in Cumberland County, where there are several reports of damage, including a porch torn from a home.

4:50 p.m. – Tornado warnings issued for Wayne, Wilson counties until 5:15 p.m.; Johnston County until 5:20 p.m.

4:40 p.m. – The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado northeast of Fayetteville near the community of Godwin.

Tornado warning extended until 5:20 p.m. for Johnston County.

4:30 p.m. – Tornado warning issued until 5:15 p.m. for Johnston, Cumberland, Sampson, Harnett counties.  Warning extended until 5 p.m. in Wilson County. Tornado warning until 5 p.m. for Edgecombe County.

There are reports of heavy structural damage to several homes in Stedman in Cumberland County, including one knocked off its foundation on Ken Hancock Road. There are also reports of damage on Black Creek Road in Wilson.

4 p.m. – Tornado warning issued for Wilson County until 4:30 p.m. Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-size hail and damaging winds in excess of 58 mph. This storm was located near Lucama, or 12 miles southwest of Wilson, and was moving north at 25 mph.

3:54 p.m. – Tornado warnings issued until 4:45 p.m. for eastern Cumberland and northwestern Sampson counties. Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado located 13 miles east of Fayetteville and moving northeast at 10 mph.

Elevated risk for severe weather

The state is under an elevated risk for severe weather as a storm system that has killed more than 30 people in the Midwest and Southeast on Sunday and Monday moves into the area.

"We're staying on top it. We're ready to move at a moment's notice," Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday afternoon. "As we learned from the tornado that hit five different counties the other evening, we've got to be ready to move at a moment's notice."

A flash flood watch is also in effect for much of central North Carolina in anticipation of 2 to 3 inches of rain in the next 24 to 36 hours. The watch begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday and runs through early Thursday.

Thunderstorm activity picked up later in the afternoon south and west of Raleigh and spread northward before moving out of the state later Tuesday night.

The threat of severe weather has prompted at least one school system to change after-school plans for Tuesday. All activities and athletic events related to Cumberland County Schools are on hold.


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  • Shamrock Apr 30, 2014

    We got pounded in Wake County today. Lightening, thunder, lots of rain, the whole enchilada!

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Agreed. Raleigh had some lightning and a couple of moderate showers, but that's it.

  • tobywilliamson1973 Apr 30, 2014

    I'm glad they missed the forecast again. We didn't need any severe weather!

  • rduwxboy Apr 30, 2014

    "Exactly right. Remember, these weather people are basically talking heads going on what the national weather service is telling them. They are VERY general in their guessing." -CAMPERZSALE

    You couldn't be further from the truth. Many (esp @ WRAL) have advanced degrees which require computer science, high math and physics skills. Some of the people at WRAL even adjunct at NC State to teach. Meteorology is a very difficult major.

  • John Dees Apr 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Stop complaining, thats what makes weather awesome, even in 2014 its unpredictable 50% of the time and does whatever it wants. At least theres one thing left in the world that can't be perfected with technology. Jimmytwotimes

    Exactly right. Remember, these weather people are basically talking heads going on what the national weather service is telling them. They are VERY general in their guessing.
    They all love to guess. It is like gambling. Think about that next time one of these idjits talks about global warming and its' effects 20 years out. Now that, is some serious guessing that is fun to laugh at.

  • evadbbat Apr 29, 2014

    South of Cary so far.

  • simplelogic Apr 29, 2014

    Boy, those bad storms can pop up fast, can't they??

  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 29, 2014

    "Sure wish I hadn't taken the day off Monday to rush around sealing my roof and installing new gutters on the house in preparation for the big flood!"

    Why on earth would anyone ever do that based on a wral forecast?

  • Ginny Marcom Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Good grief people!! Get over yourselves! Would you rather WRAL not report anything, downplay it and then have a tornado??? Not me! I'm one of those folks that dealt with this kind of weather 2 years ago and it hit my home as well as my neighbors. I'd much rather be prepared than not!! I can't believe the people on here that want to complain so much about this!! If you don't want to hear it, MOVE ON!!

  • Mannin Black Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The day is only halfway over and people think we are all in the clear because we have not seen any storms yet. Guess what? Its getting warmer out now that means the potential is greater. If you think you are a better weather forecaster, I expect you better be getting paid for it.