Local News

Clean-Up Efforts Continue After Powerful Weekend Storm

Posted March 9, 2004 6:42 a.m. EST

— There was plenty to clean up Monday from a surprise round of thunderstorms that tore across much of North Carolina overnight.

Two people are dead as the result of the severe thunderstorms.

Police in Huntersville say 81-year-old Howard Drusin was killed when part of a tree snapped and hit him on the head.

In Mount Airy, a man riding a motorcycle was killed when strong winds blew his bike into the path of oncoming car, authorities said.

Zachary Shelton, 25, of Cary, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was thrown from his motorcycle in the crash, which occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police.

Three passengers in the other vehicle were not injured.

There were reports of downed trees and power lines all the way from Asheville to Fayetteville.

Wind gusts flipped small planes at

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

and a tobacco barn was leveled in Fuquay-Varina.

In Lee County, an uprooted tree split a house near Sanford in half. Eugenio Aivarado and his family were not home at the time.

"I looked and I said, 'Thank you, Jesus,'" he said after he looked at the damage.

The Aivarados said their house was only one of the major events to hit them. They also said they were involved in an auto accident earlier. No one was injured.

Progress Energy and Duke Power reported scattered outages across the state.

A spokesman for Duke Power says the utility is pleased with efforts to restore electricity to customers affected by Sunday night's thunderstorms.

Late Sunday night, Duke Power reported 206,000 customers in its coverage area were without electricity. As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, there are 90,000 outages, of which 2,600 are in Durham and 600 are in Orange County.

Progress Energy reports 4,000 customers without power systemwide. Most of the outages were reported in Person County.