08/28/08 — Tornado sighted?

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Tornado sighted?

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 28, 2008 1:42 PM

A barn located just northeast of Fremont in the Aycock Church Road area was destroyed late Wednesday night by a possible tornado spun off from a storm that swept across Wayne and Wilson counties. It was the second unconfirmed tornado sighting reported in the past 24 hours in Wayne County.

Mike Riggs, son of homeowners Nelson Riggs Jr. and Tracy Riggs said the winds tore through their property at 188 Aycock Church Road in Fremont around 1 a.m.

Their three labrador retrievers were inside a kennel in the barn, but escaped unharmed.

And the potential for rain and stormy weather is expected to continue through today.

Brandon Locklear, a meteorologist with the Raleigh National Weather Service office, said the Wayne County storm hit between 11:45 p.m. Wednesday and about 1 a.m. this morning.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched and the report was relayed to the National Weather Service for the storm to be checked by radar.

"But by then the storm was already in Wilson County and the Weather Service issued a bulletin for them," Wayne County Emer-gency Communications Super-visor Delbert Edwards said.

There were no injuries reported, he added.

There also was an unconfirmed tornado sighting Wednesday afternoon.

"We got one call from a passing motorist around noon on Interstate 795 near Belfast who said they saw one," Edwards said. "We reported it to the National Weather Service, but they didn't see anything on their radar that would indicate one."

In Duplin County, law enforcement officers reported a tornado sighting at 7:30 p.m. near U.S. 117 between Rose Hill and Teachey. Locklear said there were reports of power outages in Duplin related to the storm.

The Duplin and Wayne/Wilson sightings were caused by different storms, Locklear said.

Wilson County Emergency Communications Supervisor Brenda Womble said the Beaver Dam Road area near the Wilson/Wayne county line had been hit by heavy rain, lightning and strong winds around 1 a.m. this morning.

Beaver Dam Road is located just east of the old U.S. 117 near the same area where the barn was hit. Some trees and limbs were downed, but at this time there is no confirmed tornado, she said.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service in Raleigh sent out two teams this morning to verify tornado reports, and their findings were to be posted around noon at www.weather.gov -- the home page for the National Weather Service and where they can be accessed by clicking onto central North Carolina for the Raleigh office's home page.

The teams are going east and west from the Raleigh National Weather Service office.

-- News-Argus Staff Writer Bonnie Edwards contributed to this article.