State News

Storm System Moves Across State

Posted November 18, 2006 3:45 p.m. EST

— The tornado was part of a cold front that produced severe weather across the Deep South on Wednesday and created a wet and windy commute in the Triangle early Thursday.

A tornado watch remained in effect for much of eastern North Carolina until 3 p.m. Various tornado warnings also were issued throughout the morning.

Gov. Mike Easley activated the State Emergency Response Team and dispatched emergency crews to assist affected counties.

High winds blew out a window at Dillard Middle School in Goldsboro, injuring one child, authorities said. The student was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital for treatment of a lacerated arm.

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said wind gusts of about 60 mph were reported in Johnston County, and a few buildings near Greensboro were damaged by high winds.

Two house fires in Cary also were linked to lightning from the storms, authorities said. A 67-year-old woman in a house on Annandale Drive was taken to a hospital as a precaution after flames trapped her in her home for a time, and a house on Mill Gate Lane sustained minor damage, authorities said.

Heavy rains flooded several roads and caused multiple fender-benders across the region. Authorities closed part of Walnut Street in Cary because of flooding, and high water also slowed traffic on U.S. Highway 64 in eastern Wake County.

A man was rescued from a car that veered off the Durham Freeway near Cornwallis Road into a drainage ditch, authorities said. The man was taken to Duke University Hospital as a precaution. It was unclear whether the weather was a factor in the accident, authorities said.

A tractor-trailer jack-knifed east of Fremont in Wayne County at the intersection of N.C. Highways 111 and 222, tying up traffic, authorities said. The driver was trying to slow as he approached ponding water on the highway, authorities said.

A truckload of plants spilled on Royal Avenue in Goldsboro when a tractor-trailer overturned, authorities said. The driver swerved to avoid a car that had pulled in front of the truck and wound up in a ditch with the truck on its side, authorities said.

A possible tornado struck near Statesville in Iredell County, injuring two people, one critically, The Charlotte Observer reported. Fallen trees blocked roads in Lincoln County, the newspaper reported.

On Wednesday, the same system produced tornadoes that killed one man in Louisiana and ripped through a church, a school and several homes in Mississippi. High winds also destroyed a skating rink in Alabama.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to rise into the upper 60s and low 70s ahead of the cold front, then fall into the 50s as it passes during the afternoon. Winds are expected to be blustery all day.

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