Weather

Storms bring flooding, downed trees

Posted August 5, 2010 5:23 a.m. EDT
Updated August 6, 2010 6:58 a.m. EDT

— Central North Carolina saw summer storms Thursday night as the brutal heat made way for a cold front.

Several areas were placed under severe thunderstorm warnings as a line of storms headed east, bringing with it cloud-to-ground lightning and damaging winds.

Around 7 p.m., a man was struck by lightning on New Light Road in Raleigh, 911 dispatchers said. His name and condition were not released.

By 10:30 p.m., WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said the worst of the storms was over.

In Raleigh, the storms causes some minor flooding on Glenwood Avenue near the intersection of Lynn Road. Police directed traffic away from the area and reopened the road around 1:15 a.m.

Lightning might have caused several fires in the area, dispatchers said. The fires were reported in the 2300 block of Basid Drive, 9100 block of Leesville Road and 8700 block of Master Court. The fires were under control and produced no major damage.

Damage and reports of downed trees were reported in Wake,  Durham, Forsyth, Person and Orange counties.

At its peak, Progress Energy reported about 1,700 outages in Wake County and around 900 outages in Franklin and Lee counties.

All flights into and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport were delayed while storms moved through the area, airport representatives said. Two flights were canceled, but it is unknown if it was due to weather.

Excessive heat and humidity created potentially dangerous conditions Thursday as temperatures soared near the 100-degree mark and the heat index even higher.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the heat index reached 113 degrees at 3:30 p.m.

Friday will be partly to mostly cloudy with highs in the lower to mid-90s. A cold front moving into the area Friday could bring more showers and storms, some of which could be severe.

"There's a very small chance of rain on Saturday and then there will be an extended period of mainly dry weather with a chance for the heat really building again next week," Fishel said.

It was lightning, not wind, from storms overnight Wednesday into Thursday to blame for at least one of several fires in the Triangle, authorities said.

Authorities say lightning sparked a house fire in Cary around 1:30 a.m. No one was hurt.

About 30 minutes later, crews responded to a fire at a townhouse in Carriage Downs in Apex. There were no reports of injuries, and investigators weren't immediately sure whether lightning was to blame.

Around 5 a.m., Raleigh firefighters fought a blaze on Rowland Road after a forklift at a construction rental facility caught fire. Some fuel from the forklift leaked into a drain and sparked flames.