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Wild Weather Whips Through Triangle

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GARNER — Thunder crashed and lightning lit up thelate-night skies in the Triangle Monday night, as a line of strong stormsmoved through the area leaving plenty of rain and more than a littledamage in its wake.

In Garner, strong winds blew out a brick wall at the Agri-SupplyCompany, leaving only a pile of rubble. The company was open, very open,for business Tuesday despite the damage.

Carolina Power & Light had a busy night. Spokesperson Sally Ramey saysthe storm left nearly 5,000 area residents without power.

Two CP&L crews were kept busy Tuesday morning replacing twotransformers that blew out after being struck by lightning. Two homessuffered interior damage from that lightning strike.

What's left for many is the potential for more damage. Wet ground andrecentrainfall have made leaning trees even more dangerous. Forestry SpecialistMark Smith says weather like this can continue to create threats thatoriginated with Hurricane Fran.

Smith says many trees only partially felled by Fran pose a real threatwhen their already loose roots are again surrounded by saturated earth.

The good news is, according to Smith, the rain that has fallen in thepast week has considerably lessened the threat of forest fires.

In Chatham County, the Haw River is threatening to overflow its banks.Currently it is two feet above flood stage and is expected to crest atabout four feet. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warningfor areas near Bynum.WRAL-TV5 MeteorologistMike Mazesaysthere's better weather on the way. By early afternoon Tuesday, skies werepartly cloudy with some welcome sunshine peeking through. Temperatures,which had hovered in the fifties during the morning hours, were expectedto rise into the sixties by late afternoon.

Scotland Neck in Northampton County got the most rainfall in the WRALviewing area forthe 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Tuesday, with1.93 inches. Parts of Halifax County had 1.73 inches, followed by Orangeand Durham Counties with 1.68 and 1.62 inches respectively. The officialRDU International measurement was 1.34 inches.

The next chance of any rain in the area comes Thursday, along with hightemperatures near 80.

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