Severe weather dampens Independence Day

Posted July 4, 2012 8:15 a.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2012 11:43 p.m. EDT

— Scattered showers and severe thunderstorms dampened the Fourth of July Wednesday evening as thunderstorms moved through the Triangle and parts of eastern North Carolina and left behind damage and caused problems for some.

Storms popped up over Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Edgecombe, Nash and other counties shortly after 4 p.m. but quickly moved through the area by 8 p.m.

Some of the storms had strong and severe winds with gusts up to 58 mph, vivid lightning strikes and hail, reported in some places as being the size of half dollars.

Issues stemming from the weather were in Raleigh.

Firefighters believe lightning is to blame for a house fire at 4400 Oakshyre Way, where a large part of the roof was destroyed and a firefighter was injured. The family was not home at the time. The firefighter was not seriously injured but was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Another house fire was reported at 3420 Gemini Drive, where a dog had to be rescued, and a third fire was reported at 5608 Old Wake Forest Road, a business.

Raleigh police also responded to a number of wrecks throughout the city, including one that closed all lanes on eastbound Interstate 540. Other wrecks were reported on Interstate 440 near Lake Boone Trail and on Interstate 40 near Aviation Parkway.

It's unclear, still, if weather was a factor in any of those wrecks or if there were any injuries.

Downed trees were reported in spots across the city, and downed power lines were reported on Alleghany Drive and Schaube Drive near Blue Ridge Road.

The weather also caused power outages in some parts, including areas near North Hills mall. At one point, Progress Energy reported more than 2,000 customers without power.

The rain did help cool the temperature, which reached 101 degrees Wednesday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

But there's not much relief.

Triple-digit temperatures are expected the rest of the work week and the weekend.

A cold front moves in by Monday dropping the temperature to the low to mid-90s. By Wednesday, those highs will be in the low to mid-80s.