Severe weather causes power outages and a few close calls across Triangle

Posted June 11, 2014
Updated June 12, 2014

— 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.


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  • tobywilliamson1973 Jun 12, 2014

    Loved that .10 of rain yesterday evening. Had a few leaves blown into the yard. Now, if we could get a couple more evenings of weather like that, it would do the garden great!!

  • independent_thinker Jun 12, 2014

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    I love NC winter weather (even when we're at the low end of average, it's incredibly mild here) and reap a side benefit that I can enjoy uncrowded outdoor activities because most folks don't like the weather.

  • Norman Lewis Jun 12, 2014
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    Common sense says you don't drive around in severe weather. There was a very good chance those people giving their stories of close escapes could have been killed and then we would have had a much different story.

  • Kristin Byrne Jun 12, 2014
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    Miss us? Tell that to the trees we lost in my neighborhood.

  • Anita Woody Jun 12, 2014

    The lightning was very intense. We had 2 inches of rain at our home inside the beltline Near Saint Mary's and Oberlin Rd.

  • luvstoQ Jun 12, 2014

    NCOUTERBANKS69, I so agree with you - love the heat, barely tolerate cold in the outdoors.

    We had .7" rain yesterday - well needed, yaaaaaaa! Grass and flowers are happy!

  • Larraine Mandeville Jun 12, 2014
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    I live out in East Wilson on old 91 hwy. We had a tree come down on our home and debris everywhere. My daughter said the clouds were swirling. Were there any reports of funnel clouds or straight line winds? This happened about 3:30 yesterday.

  • iron fist Jun 11, 2014

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    I like the winter, you can dress for the cold not much you can do for the heat but sweat.

  • Shaking My Head In Amusement Jun 11, 2014

    And just to add...I'm one who enjoys seeing other areas because I live two counties away and have to drive thru the downtown area that was affected to report to work this evening.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 11, 2014

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    I prefer to see them all - and the direction they're headed, just in case they're headed for US, cause I believe it's better to be safe than to be sorry.