Weather

Possible tornadoes blast through central NC

Posted March 6, 2011
Updated March 7, 2011

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— A cold front swept across North Carolina Sunday, whipping up damaging winds and prompting warnings for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

According to the National Weather Service, a funnel cloud formed in Edgecombe County and possible tornadoes were reported in Rolesville in northern Wake County and near the Wayne-Wilson County line.

Tornado warnings were issued for Edgecombe, Wayne and Wilson counties, but not for Wake.

"It came up (in Wake) very, very quickly," said Darin Figursky, spokesman for the National Weather Service. "From what we were able to diagnose looking back at the radar, had we been able to get out a warning, it still would have come out with essentially no lead time. It was very, very quick that it came up."

Storm damage from heavy rains and wind hit Chatham, Wake, Sampson, Franklin, Halifax and Warren counties, in some cases even uprooting trees and downing power lines.

Rolesville neighbors say tornado swept area Rolesville neighbors say tornado swept area

Rolesville police closed Highway 401 at Young Street due to a house fire that ignited when a down power line struck the roof. Resident Cecil Bell, 86, was taken to WakeMed Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. He was listed in fair condition Sunday night.

"Cecil was lying outside the door on the wheelchair ramp," said Bell's nephew, Ron Brisson. Brisson said Bell is blind.

Steve Taylor lives near Bell and rushed to the home when he saw that it was on fire.

"The fire started and we were trying to get the door open and there was an explosion," Taylor said. "I don't know if it was gas or what."

The fire was contained Sunday night and no one else was injured. The home was not destroyed, authorities said, but the extent of the damage was not disclosed.

Storm Damage High winds whip NC Sunday

About 40 customers in the Rolesville area lost power, according to Progress Energy. The utility said it expected to restore all power by Monday morning.

A tornado warning for Edgecombe County expired at 7 p.m., weather officials said, because the storm had weakened significantly, but a funnel cloud was reported in the area. Authorities said the storm was capable of producing a tornado and was moving through the county at 40 mph, causing damage near Tarboro.

After the warnings expired, tornado watches were issued for Wilson, Nash, Halifax, Wayne and Edgecombe counties, but were canceled at 8:15 p.m. Authorities said cyclones could bring damaging winds in excess of 58 mph.

Submit your storm photos here.

Damaging winds were reported throughout the Triangle. Progress Energy said that 164 customers in Wake County were without power as of 7 p.m.

Late Sunday morning, a fast-moving storm cell prompted tornado warnings for Johnston, Wayne and Sampson counties.

Radar indicated signs of a tornado in the storm cell that moved from near Clinton along Interstate 95 through eastern Johnston County. The warning lasted from about 11:30 a.m. until shortly after noon. It was not clear if a tornado had touched down or if there was any damage.

A severe thunderstorm was also issued for Halifax County early Saturday afternoon.

The rain and clouds will clear out for the start of the work week Monday.

"It looks like tomorrow that will all be gone," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss. "We should see a lot of sun, a few filmy clouds coming in from the west at times and highs in the upper 50s to low 60s."

Fair weather will dominate again on Tuesday, but clouds will return on Wednesday. There's a shot at rain again Thursday.

12 Comments

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  • seankelly15 Mar 7, 2011

    tobywilliamson58 - "Every time wake county encounters a wind storm, the media wants to report on a "Possible Tornado". Give me a break!"

    "According to the National Weather Service, a funnel cloud formed in Edgecombe County and possible tornadoes were reported in Rolesville in northern Wake County and near the Wayne-Wilson County line."

    Here is a clue for you... the National Weather Service (NOAA) is not the MEDIA.

  • TheBigLC Mar 7, 2011

    SeanKelly, First I know i am posting on a stroy about the weather yesterday. Thats because WRAL bounced the story about gas prices and Obama possibly tapping oil reserves. The story was bounced quickly. It was on the website at 6:50 and gone before 8:00. Gee I wonder why. Might it be they don't want negative remarks about their fellow liberal leader? If Bush was still in office they would be whining about how his friends in the oil industry were making money. But now when BO is in office and his buddies are cashing in and they bump the story.

  • hfweather Mar 7, 2011

    I'm just glad a don't live in a trailer.
    i took a big dump on golo
    GOLO member since March 7, 2011
    March 7, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    the odds of it hitting u in a tornado are very slim,what a rude comment to make

    Winds got a lil gusty at times in Goldsboro, but one of my cousin's neighbors in Kinston took a photo of a funnel cloud yesterday averageeverydaysanepyscho

    i live in goldsboro,and i saw the funnel cloud,you must have been asleep.

  • tobywilliamson58 Mar 7, 2011

    Every time wake county encounters a wind storm, the media wants to report on a "Possible Tornado". Give me a break!

  • seankelly15 Mar 7, 2011

    gdaddy - "Strange how quickly wral bounced the story of Obama and gas prices off the front page."

    Two points: the story that you posted to was about the weather yesterday and secondly, the story was not 'quickly bounced'.

  • pipcolt Mar 7, 2011

    Don't depend on the weather service to watch over your safety. If the weather looks bad use your own judgement to get to a safe location. Assume the worst and sit it out somewhere safe until it passes.

  • CharmedLife Mar 7, 2011

    Winds got a lil gusty at times in Goldsboro, but one of my cousin's neighbors in Kinston took a photo of a funnel cloud yesterday.

  • TheBigLC Mar 7, 2011

    Strange how quickly wral bounced the story of Obama and gas prices off the front page.

  • Bogged Down Mar 7, 2011

    Maybe he was waiting for the tornado to get within ONE mile of your house before calling. I saw that this same service is FREE from WTVD. It's a text alert instead of an actual call, but, hey, text is even better than a call since you can take your time reading it.

    http://cf.localwireless.com/wireless/signup.cfm?sid=38&pageid=textalert1_main

    (I hope I don't get in trouble for spreading this bit of information.)

  • rescuefan Mar 7, 2011

    "It came up (in Wake) very, very quickly," said Darin Figursky, spokesman for the National Weather Service. "From what we were able to diagnose looking back at the radar, had we been able to get out a warning, it still would have come out with essentially no lead time. It was very, very quick that it came up."

    The national weather service didn't issue a warning, so the Weather Call didn't go out.

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