Storms linger over Triangle; lightning sparks two house fires

Posted June 28, 2011 3:42 p.m. EDT
Updated June 29, 2011 7:13 a.m. EDT

— A cold front moved into the area Tuesday afternoon and evening, bringing thunderstorms, excessive lightning, damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall.

Two lines of severe thunderstorms hovered over central North Carolina. One stretched from Lillington north and east to Wake County and the other extended from eastern Chatham County, near Jordan Lake, into southern Durham and Orange counties.

A lightning strike ignited a house fire on Carpenter Pond Road in Durham County, fire crews said. The roof collapsed and the house was gutted by flames.

No one was in the home at the time and no one was injured.

Lightning was also to blame for a Raleigh house fire on Poole Road near Ralph Lane. No one was hurt. Authorities have not released any information on damages.

Storms might crop up again Wednesday morning, especially along the Interstate 95 corridor, as the cold front makes its way through the region. The cold front has dry air behind it, however, which will cool temperatures slightly and offer a break in the humidity, said WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze.

WRAL viewers reported that storms were especially severe in Lee County, with powerful winds downing tree limbs, particularly in the areas between Tramway and Sanford. Lee County dispatchers received multiple reports of trees down on Chris Cole Road and on U.S. Highway 1 near the Wake County line.

Highs Tuesday hit the high 90s with heat indexes as high as 105. Highs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be in the low 90s with less humidity, but temperatures will heat up again for the holiday weekend. Highs Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach 97 degrees.