03/08/05 — Violent storm rages across Wayne

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Violent storm rages across Wayne

By Karinne Young
Published in News on March 8, 2005 2:00 PM

A violent thunderstorm raged across much of Wayne County about 10 a.m. today, damaging buildings, toppling trees and power lines and blocking traffic on several roadways.

Strong winds damaged part of Wayne Country Day School. Water was reported to be standing in some of the rooms at the school and students were sent home.

Power lines were reported down in Mount Olive, where hail was also reported.

Winds speed reached 61 miles per hour, said Craig Lewis, civilian weather forecaster at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Tornados were reported in several areas but Lewis said there was no radar evidence of a tornado, only strong winds.

A mobile home was blown onto Antioch Road. Mobile home damage was also reported in several other areas, including Piedmont Airline Road.

Structural damage was also reported on Patetown Road, with tree limbs and power lines down.

There were reports of a tornado in eastern Wayne County, but they were not confirmed. Power lines were down east of the Elroy Fire Department, temporarily blocking traffic on U.S. 70.

Stoplights were out in some areas and fallen trees blocked traffic north of Goldsboro on U.S. 117 and south of the city on U.S. 13. Power lines blocked some portions of U.S. 70 East.

Trees were also down and structural damage was reported on New Hope Road near N.C. 111 and in the Saulston area.

Thelma McPherson of Golden Circle in the southern part of the county said a garage at her home was blown into her back yard.

Wayne was included among counties in North Carolina under a severe thunderstorm watch early today.

At 10 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Wayne. At that time, a line of strong storms was reported along the western Wayne County line. Winds of up to 70 mph were expected along with small hail as the storms moved through.

Damage reports were still coming in as the News-Argus went to press.