Published: 2014-06-11 09:23:00
Updated: 2014-06-12 08:44:31
Posted June 11, 2014
Updated June 12, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Thunderstorms fueled by heat and humidity caused wind damage across central North Carolina Wednesday afternoon, triggering severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings across the region and resulting in a few close calls.
John Bell was driving on Aviation Parkway in Cary when the power poles near him started to waver.
"They started to come down and the last one that came down, came right in front of me," said Bell, who had to sit in his vehicle for about 45 minutes until it was safe to leave.
Aviation Parkway between Evans Road and Gateway Center Boulevard was closed Wednesday evening due to the downed power lines. Officials expect the road to remain closed through the Thursday morning commute.
Marvin Montgomery was sitting in his Durham home when he suddenly heard a loud crash.
A tree fell in an area of the Miami Boulevard house where Montgomery usually is during the afternoon.
"A lot of times during the day, I am lying down taking a nap," he said. "Today, however, I was working on the computer, just by chance. That made all the difference in the world – the reason I am actually here right now."
Nichelle Brooks was driving down Urban Street in Durham after leaving her daughter's graduation when her journey came to an abrupt stop.
"I didn't get two blocks down the road and a tree fell on my car," she said.
No injuries were reported Wednesday as a result of the storms.
Downed trees were reported across the region, including one blocking a lane on Interstate 40 East at Airport Boulevard and two along Poole Road in Raleigh.
More than 10,000 Duke Energy customers in Durham County were without power Wednesday afternoon due to the storms. As of 11 p.m., power was restored to all but 423 customers in Durham and 1,023 customers in Wake County.
WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said the fast-moving storm cells brought wind and rain across a wide swath of the region.
The mercury reached 94 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday. Maze said the same heat, humidity and chance of storms are on tap for Thursday.
That's concerning for golfers and fans headed to the U.S. Open Championship in Pinehurst this week. Competition begins Thursday, and most of the golfers will be on the course Thursday afternoon.
"By Thursday at lunchtime, Futurecast shows a map almost covered with rain showers across North Carolina," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
The storms will cool the atmosphere, but being cool is relative in June in North Carolina.
"Summer has truly arrived," Gardner said.
High temperatures stay in the mid- to upper-80s through the next week or so, with a chance for thunderstorms every afternoon.