By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 14, 2013 1:46 PM
A quick, but powerful, wind storm left damage across the county Thursday evening -- downing large trees, damaging local businesses and leaving thousands of residents without power. The storm also closed down the Center Street Jam as participants rushed for cover.
A quick, but powerful, wind storm left damage across the county Thursday evening -- downing large trees, damaging local businesses and leaving thousands of residents without power.
The band members of the Mighty Saints of Soul quickly pack their gear at the Center Street Jam as the storm hits. The storm closed down the Center Street Jam as participants rushed for cover.
Wayne County was spared the damage and power outages visited on other parts of the state, particularly to the west and north, by a fast-moving storm system that swept across North Carolina on Thursday evening.
No injuries have been reported.
"We have not had any major damage reported," said Mel Powers, the director of county emergency management and security. "It was mainly downed power lines and trees as well. We did have one tree on a house in the Stevens Mill Road area, but it was relayed back to us as minor."
At 6:38 p.m. a wind gust of 55 miles per hour was reported at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. A gust of 60 miles per hour was reported at 6:49 northeast of Mount Olive.
The strong winds forced the Center Street Jam in downtown Goldsboro to end early, with musicians and patrons scrambling to take down equipment and tents.
Statewide, gusts ranged from 45 to 65 miles per hour with many in the 50 to low 60s, according to the National Weather Service office in Raleigh.
Traffic was being rerouted on U.S. 117 near Elm Street this morning because the railroad crossing arms were stuck in the down position blocking the highway. The problem was blamed on the storm.
Goldsboro police officers were at George and Elm streets and George and Ash streets redirecting traffic around the railroad tracks while waiting for railroad work crews to fix the crossing arms.
The storm, which was moving southeast at 40 miles per hour, produced little rain. Most areas, including Wayne County, saw a tenth of an inch or less, according to the National Weather Service.
There were reports of trees being downed near Goldsboro and Fremont. Four telephone poles were reported blown down across the railroad tracks near Fremont. Last night, CSX Transportation personnel were at the scene, Fremont Police Chief Paul Moats Jr. said.
The poles were removed Friday morning by CenturyLink personnel around 2:20 a.m.
"Trees snapped off halfway and landed in a few yards," Moats said today.
A tree landed on a house on Main Street, but no injuries were reported in Fremont as a result of the storm.
Fremont lost power for about an hour and a half Thursday evening on the Duke Energy Progress serviced side of town, Fremont Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said.
In Goldsboro, the Public Works Department began clearing trees and limbs about 7 p.m. and worked until 10 p.m.
As of this morning, all major limbs and trees that were reported had been cleared off the roads, said Glen Hood of the city Public Works Department.
"As people get out and about, they might find some more, but all the ones that have been reported have been taken care of," Hood said.
State Department of Transportation crews were out Thursday night cutting downed trees to ensure that traffic could move, DOT engineer Chris Pendergraph said. The crews were back out this morning when it was safer to finish cleaning up the trees and limbs, he said.
As of this morning, no county roads were closed because of storm damage, he said. However, Ferry Bridge Road remains closed because of flooding caused by the Neuse River. The road could be reopened later today as the river recedes.
"I think we dodged a bullet," Mount Olive Town Manager Charles Brown said. "It was just the normal stuff, a few limbs, but everything else seems to be fine."
One remaining concern is the swollen Neuse River.
At 8:15 p.m. Thursday, the Neuse River was at 18.5 feet. The flood stage is 18 feet.
Minor flooding is occurring and is forecast to continue. The river will continue rising to near 18.6 feet before falling below flood stage by late evening.