Local News

Scattered Storms Leave Thousands Without Power

Posted June 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Weather forecasters have said the brief but damaging storm that struck North Raleigh and other isolated areas of Wake County was a microburst, a powerful effect of some storms that can produce heavy damage.

Those who commute from one part of the Triangle to another found the true meaning of "widely scattered storms" Monday afternoon. Nary a drop of rain fell in most of downtown Raleigh, for instance, but in North Raleigh, wind and hail left a trail of damage.

CP&L officials say about 20,000 electric customers lost power. Most of them were in North Raleigh, West Raleigh and Zebulon.

Power was restored to all but 2,500 customers by 4 a.m. Tuesday. By noon, there were only about 100 customers still without power.

Lou Sedaris stared woefully at what was left of his house Tuesday morning. A huge tree was blown over and crashed through his roof. Sedaris said this will be the fourth time he's had to rebuild because of storm damage.

"I felt absolutely wiped out," Sedaris told WRAL-TV5'sTom Lawrence. "I mean, I didn't believe I could go through it again for the fourth time. I just felt devastated. I had a big hole in the ceiling and in the breakfast nook and also in the kitchen."

When asked what he would do now, after this latest disaster, Sedaris replied, "Well, I'm going to repair it and get on with my life. That's it."

The sound of chain saws filled the evening air in some areas -- an eerie reminder of Hurricane Fran.

Residents of areas with the most damage said it looked like Fran had returned. They also expressed surprise that so much damage could occur in such a short period of time. Most said the Monday afternoon storm blew through very quickly.

North Raleigh resident Alan McRimmon said he was glad his family was away from home when a tree that used to shade their home fell through it.

The Woo family of Dixon Street in North Hills also found trees where parts of their home once were.

Sang Woo said he was lucky to get his family to the safer side of their home as trees fell, caving in the roof on one side.

No tornados were spotted or reported, but residents say the wind moved strangely. Resident Billy Martin said it seemed to move up.

Many are dealing with after storm clean up, and many have recent experience in doing so.

Residents were advised to be alert to the dangers of downed power lines.