Lee's remnants dump rain, spark warnings

Posted September 6, 2011

— A series of storms Tuesday spawned at least one possible tornado and a slew of tornado and flash flood warnings and watches around North Carolina.

The collision of a cold front and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee caused heavy rain and tornado threats throughout the day. 

"We could be seeing some thunderstorm activity into the wee hours of the morning," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

A possible tornado touched down one mile southeast of Pinehurst at 6:40 a.m., Moore County Emergency Manager Scot Brooks said. All the damage was contained to the Country Club of North Carolina, he said. Long-leaf pine trees were blown down and snapped. Some were tossed into a lake.

There were unconfirmed sightings of funnel clouds on Jordan Lake and in Henderson.

No other tornado touchdowns have been confirmed from storms, which also prompted tornado warnings for Wake, Durham, Chatham, Orange, Lee, Granville, Person, Vance and Franklin counties.

Overnight, trained spotters reported tornadoes in Union, Stanly and Wilkes counties.

durham resident dan scheck Durham, Chapel Hill deal with Lee's remnants

Durham resident Dan Scheck looked out his living room window Tuesday and saw a large tree down. He ran outside to see if it damaged anything.

"I breathed a sigh of relief it didn't hit the car," he said. "I love all the trees on this street, and I'm disappointed to see them break and fall apart."

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sophomore Alix Jones and others heard the emergency sirens twice and got text messages and emails.

"It's a little weird. (The alarm sound) is a little creepy," Jones said. "We've had an earthquake, hurricane and now tornadoes. We were talking about it in my class. What's going to be next? Like, volcanoes, blizzards, something like that?"

Angier homes misses falling trees Falling trees miss Angier home

In Angier, Vickie Pittman said tall pine trees broke apart in the strong winds. 

"I saw the tops of the pines just popping off and headed back towards the house," Pittman said. "That is what scared me the most."

Her home wasn't damaged.

Slick Raleigh roads cause wrecks Slick Raleigh roads cause wrecks

In Robeson County, authorities said multiple trees were down on West Great Marsh Church Road in Shannon. Also, a trailer on Covington Farm Road in Shannon was badly damaged.

In Raleigh, two weather-related wrecks were reported in the same area of Interstate 40 near the Rock Quarry Road exit on Tuesday, police said. In both cases, drivers were cited for traveling too fast for the conditions. Several people sustained minor injuries. 

On Wednesday, the better chance for scattered showers and storms will shift to eastern North Carolina. The weather will start to dry out Thursday, and hot, mostly sunny weather will return in time for the weekend.


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  • uncw05 Sep 6, 2011

    YouMakeItSoEasy- reality is that there is no good way to know ahead of time when things are going to get bad. Better safe than sorry. As I said before, by the time it's on the ground, it's too late to take action.

  • boneymaroney13 Sep 6, 2011

    It's not worth the argument.

  • Screw WrAl Sep 6, 2011

    It's not about fun, it's about reality. Get the facts and don't guess just because your "radar" says something might be blowing in the wind. As has been mentioned here so many times, it's called crying wolf and the local media minions know that drill very well don't they.

  • boneymaroney13 Sep 6, 2011

    youmakeitsoeasy - I'd rather respond to a school that was prepared than to a school that did not prepare because they couldn't "actually see a tornado".

  • NC Reader Sep 6, 2011

    YouMakeItSoEasy -- I don't know what school you've been in, but my children haven't spent much time at all "tucked in the halls". Moreover, the one or two times they had a tornado drill, they came home talking about it and thought it was all kind of cool. There's no reason a possible tornado should be handled any differently from a drill. Unless a tornado actually were to strike, in which case you'd want them in the halls, the children would probably think it was fun.

  • NoObamaCare Sep 6, 2011

    Milk.....CHECK Bread....CHECK Beer.....Better get more to hold me down when the tornado touches down!

  • uncw05 Sep 6, 2011

    YouMakeItSoEasy- by the time it is on the ground, it is often too late. I'll take my early notice thank you very much.

  • jannita Sep 6, 2011

    So if radar indicates a tornado but a spotter hasn't called it in, you (YouMakeItSoEasy) would rather the children wait until the storm hits the school to take cover? If the storm developed close to the school, a spotter might not have time to call it in and a warning get out before the kids were in harm's way. And if it is a rain-wrapped tornado, it may never actually be spotted before it destroys something. When conditions are that ripe for a tornado that there is already rotation in the atmosphere (as indicated on radar), I'd say better safe than sorry. Again, why wait until it is on the ground and sighted, if people can get to safety ahead of the storm?!?

  • The Chief is wrong Sep 6, 2011

    If you want to see something scary, tell the kids to have a look at a brime-ado. The last thing you want to see an F3 brime-ado barrelling down on your home. Brime + funnel cloud = disaster.

  • Screw WrAl Sep 6, 2011

    The simple fact is they, them, those or whoever needs to do a better job being responsible and not just issuing tornado warnings because a radar might suggest it. Today many of our kids spent way too much time tucked in the halls at school because they were told a tornado warning had been issued and sighted. When in fact, no such thing occurred. Our kids don't need to be frightened beyond belief for no reason and someone is to blame. I blame the local media. If you see one on the ground, fine, issue one. Otherwise stop the fear mongering.