07/28/06 — Rains, winds cause trouble across county

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Rains, winds cause trouble across county

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 28, 2006 1:48 PM

A flash thunderstorm Thursday afternoon dumped 1.58 inches of rain on Wayne County, leaving residents cleaning up debris and law enforcement officials handling five traffic accident reports.

Weather forecaster Bob Ussery said two thunderstorm reports came in to the National Weather Service in Raleigh -- one at 5:15 and another at 6:15 p.m. The first report said trees were down a mile west of the Lenoir County line, and the second report was about 59-mph wind gusts at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.

"With this heat thing going on now, there's going to be a good chance of afternoon thunderstorms," he said. "And with the soup like it is, It's going to be hard to get around having them."

Keith Westbrook with Progress Energy said at the peak of the storm, between 800 and 1,000 customers were without electricity.

Most of the damage to the Progress Energy system resulted from direct lightning strikes, he said. Work crews labored until about 5 a.m. today getting customers' power back in service.

Between 5 and 7:30 this morning, there were a few lingering outages in places like the Crestwood subdivision in Wayne County and other isolated areas, but Westbrook said around 8 this morning, all service had been restored.

The highest concentration of customers out of power were those located near Madison Avenue and Elm and Harris streets in Goldsboro, where about 200 customers were without power. Also hit hard was the N.C. 111 area of Wayne County, where about 400 customers lost power. The other outages were scattered across the county, Westbrook said.

Ussery said the forecast for today called for 40 percent chance of more afternoon showers and thunderstorms, with highs in the mid-90s and a heat index of 104.

Seymour Johnson forecasters said they were looking for a heat index of 105, and they're expecting the weather to be the same Saturday as was forecast for today.