Severe storms die down after day of wild weather
Posted June 9, 2013
Updated June 10, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A day of wild weather that included tornado warnings in two central North Carolina counties wound down Monday with no widespread reports of significant damage.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning shortly after 6 p.m. for northern Franklin County and southern Warren County after radar indicated rotational winds.
Authorities reported a funnel cloud in Franklin County on Highway 561 near White Level. However, there were conflicting reports about whether a tornado actually touched down.
The warnings expired at 6:45 p.m.
"The rotational signal just got weaker and weaker," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
The National Weather Service also reported a funnel cloud in Johnston County near Clayton. The cloud remained aloft and did not touch down.
In Wake County, along Poole Road, straight-line winds uprooted trees and damaged roofs and outbuildings.
"The wind was so strong. I mean, it was just flying across," said storm victim Lydia Medlin. "It knocked off everything."
"The tree house got torn apart because it was so strong," said Medlin's sister, Anna.
The girls' father, David Medlin, said the family took shelter while the winds wreaked havoc on his backyard.
"It got really strong, really thick to where you couldn't see anything across the street," he said. "So I told everybody, 'We've got to get to the center of the house, get away from the windows.'"
Thirty seconds later, he said, he stepped outside to find "no playground, no trampoline, no anything."
Much of the state was under a tornado watch for most of the day as showers and thunderstorms popped up along a fast-moving cold front.
As the front marched across the Triangle, the threat for severe weather diminished.
"It's being whittled away from west to east," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "West of this line, we believe the air is stabilized."
By 7:30 p.m., the threat for the Triangle area was over, Maze said.
Monday's weather came on the heels of Tropical Storm Andrea, which dumped more than 5 inches of rain across the region and caused flash flooding Friday.
Some communities hit with heavy rains from Andrea continued struggling Sunday, including the Moore County town of Vass where residents were being rescued from homes surrounded by water after a nearby lake swelled with 4 to 6 inches of rain.