Storms cause 'devastating' damage in Johnston County

Posted August 23
Updated August 24

— Storms that moved through the Triangle on Wednesday evening didn't last long, but left significant damage behind in Johnston County.

While rainfall wasn't impressive, winds associated with the system were severe. Warren's Auto Sales in Smithfield was gutted, with debris everywhere and there were multiple reports of downed trees and power outages.

"I feel so bad for so many people here. It's going to be a lot of cleanup," said resident Angie Long. "We're going to do whatever we can do. We already have a team together and we are going to try to do whatever we can."

Storms cause damage in Johnston County

Long said the winds spared her house, but just a block away at 301st and 5th streets, there was devastation.

"It's just totally devastating. I can't believe what's going on here," she said.

Storms cause damage in Johnston County

Those who were forced to endure the worst of the storm said it was intense and scary.

"I heard the rain and I happened to look out the window and it was just white," said resident Yvette Richardson.

Friends helped salvage whatever they could from Warren's Auto Sales, which is a well known business in town.

"It's kind of devastating watching some of your friend's property really destroyed like this. It's tough," said resident Mike Jernigan. "Try to repair and fix, salvage what we can and I guess go on. I mean, he's a good friend. Anything he needs, I'll be here to help him."

Earlier Wednesday, winds caused a tree to fall onto a car on Lee Street. A woman was pinned inside the vehicle, but was not injured.

Woman pinned in car in Johnston County‚Äč

The storms were the result of a cold front that is expected to bring cooler, drier weather for the remainder of the week.

Highs will struggle to reach the low 80s on Thursday, and temperatures will be in the 70s for the bulk of the day.

"You cannot find a 90-degree day in the 7-day forecast," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "Thursday temperatures will struggle to reach 80."

Similarly pleasant temperatures should last through the weekend, with highs in the low to mid 80s each day. Storms and rain are not expected to be an issue for weekend activities.


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  • Ryan Sakrison Aug 23, 1:03 p.m.
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    About time.

  • Gail Dragon Aug 23, 7:42 a.m.
    user avatar

    Bring them on! I'm melting!