Clarksville, Va. — A line of severe thunderstorms marched across central North Carolina late Friday afternoon, leaving downed tree branches and power lines, knocking out service in several areas.
Bethlehem United Holy Church in Durham sustained some weather damage, a spokesperson there said.
In Wake County, an oak tree fell on a Nottingham Road home, narrowly missing the elderly resident inside. In Cary, a home on Dynasty Drive suffered the same fate.
Trees and branches were blown down on Raleigh's South Saunders Street and Lake Wheeler Road, and traffic lights were out in the area.
In Raleigh's Glenwood South neighborhood, a branch fell on power lines and knocked out service to more than 2,000 customers. Further north on Glenwood Avenue, a downed tree blocked traffic at Lynn Road.
The first series of severe storms moved quickly across Person and Granville counties in the 4 o'clock hour at about 50 mph. The National Weather Service had reports of funnel clouds, but no reports of touchdown.
As those storms moved north and east, they rocked the community of Clarksville, Va., just over the North Carolina line. An old tree that shaded Ken Bower's home was laid out over his roof by evening's end.
"You could hear it coming a ways off," Bower said.
He saw trees twisting and snapping, and rain, ice and hail falling from the sky. "It was hail like half of a golf ball," he said.
On the North Carolina side of the line, the Bullock community in Granville County saw the top of a barn lifted off by the wind. The Granville County Sheriff's Office said there were some downed trees on Highway 15 between Stovall and Bullock, and north of Stovall up to the Virginia line.
The weather service posted a tornado watch, indicating conditions were favorable for tornadoes, at about 2 p.m. Friday. As the storms weakened and night fell, those watches were gradually lifted.
After the squall line has passed, more moderate weather is on the way for the weekend, said WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.
The rain moves out overnight and sunshine will prevail on Saturday and Sunday, but after the storms move through, a cooler air mass will settle in for several days.Temperatures will be below normal Saturday and Sunday with highs of 63 and 66, respectively.