Local News

Storms Cause Mess Across Triangle

Posted August 21, 2007 10:54 p.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2007 10:58 a.m. EDT

— Record heat erupted in severe thunderstorms across the Triangle on Tuesday evening, leaving power lines down, widespread but minor damage and at least eight people injured.

Eight people were injured when a powerful storm pummeled an outdoor concert at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh.

When the storm passed through, patrons were hit with tree branches and other debris. Most of the injuries were minor cuts and bruises.

The cancellation of the concert by Def Leppard, Styx and Foreigner also caused major traffic back-ups around the Amphitheatre, as thousands of fans tried to leave at once.

A security guard at the Amphitheatre told WRAL there was some significant damage.

Strong winds flipped over several rental sailboats on Lake Crabtree. Everyone on board the sailboats was accounted for, and no one was injured, the Wake County Sheriff's Office said.

Power lines fell on top of a car in which two female North Carolina State University students were riding near Dan Allen Drive and Fraternity Row.

The women said they were traveling back to campus when the wires hit their windshield and threw off sparks. Neither student was injured.

The Cary Fire Department responded to an apparent lightning strike at home on Dovershire Court, off Davis Drive. The lightning blasted a 1-foot hole in the roof but did not spark a fire, officials said.

At the height of the storms, Progress Energy and Duke Energy reported a combined total of more than 17,000 customers without power. The areas hardest hit included Wake, Johnston and Orange counties.

Both utilities had crews out repairing the power lines. As of 4:30 a.m., Progress Energy still reported hundreds of outages in Wake and Columbus counties.

The power outages were severe enough to force the Apex Police Department to turn over dispatching its calls over to Wake County for a while. Apex police said their computers were back up and they returned to handling calls by around 8 p.m.