06/04/04 — Tornadoes spotted

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Tornadoes spotted

By Karinne Young
Published in News on June 4, 2004 2:02 PM

Tornadoes were spotted this morning in Johnston and Wayne counties just before noon.

Residents reported seeing a tornado on the ground near Oakland Church Road and later, just north of Nahunta, about 10 miles north of Goldsboro.

A line of strong storms moved from Johnston into Wayne, bringing heavy rains and dangerous lightning. About 3,300 people were without power in the Smithfield area, according to Progress Energy officials.

A tornado warning, which means a tornado cloud had been sighted, was issued by the National Weather Service for Wayne County and portions of Johnston County.

A funnel cloud was spotted moving northeast at 15 mph near Princeton, the weather service said. Heavy rain was reported moving through the area.

"There's no damage yet," said Ed Lewis, chief of police in the town of Princeton. "The power has flickered a few times. We're in the middle of it now."

Jason Barber of the Johnston County emergency services office said numerous tornadoes had been reported on the ground, but there were no reports of damage.

"We're getting multiple funnel clouds," Barber said.

At 1 p.m., the Storm Center in Norman, Okla. issued a tornado watch effective until 5 p.m. for Wayne and other counties in the southeastern coastal plain.

Storms could also bring hail to 2 inches in diameter and wind gusts to 70 mph as well as dangerous lightning.

People are advised to monitor emergency broadcasts for further bulletins and warnings.