Local News

Wild Weather Whips Through Triangle

Posted April 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Thunder crashed and lightning lit up the late-night skies in the Triangle Monday night, as a line of strong storms moved through the area leaving plenty of rain and more than a little damage in its wake.

In Garner, strong winds blew out a brick wall at the Agri-Supply Company, 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 says the storm left nearly 5,000 area residents without power.

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

What's left for many is the potential for more damage. Wet ground and recent rainfall have made leaning trees even more dangerous. Forestry Specialist Mark Smith says weather like this can continue to create threats that originated with Hurricane Fran.

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

The good news is, according to Smith, the rain that has fallen in the past 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 at about four feet. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for areas near Bynum. WRAL-TV5 MeteorologistMike Mazesays there's better weather on the way. By early afternoon Tuesday, skies were partly cloudy with some welcome sunshine peeking through. Temperatures, which had hovered in the fifties during the morning hours, were expected to rise into the sixties by late afternoon.

Scotland Neck in Northampton County got the most rainfall in the WRAL viewing area for the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Tuesday, with 1.93 inches. Parts of Halifax County had 1.73 inches, followed by Orange and Durham Counties with 1.68 and 1.62 inches respectively. The official RDU International measurement was 1.34 inches.

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