CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolinas are picking up the pieces after heavy rain, tornadoes, damaging winds, and flash flooding left a path of destruction Monday.
Thousands woke up Tuesday across our viewing area with no power. Duke Energy continued to lower the numbers throughout the day, however, they remained high. According to the North Carolina Emergency Management, as of 9:30 a.m. there were about 66,000 homes and businesses without power statewide.
An apparent tornado caused widespread damage in Spartanburg County, S.C., according to NBC affiliate WYFF. National Weather Service meteorologists confirmed a
The Hickory Regional Airport suffered significant damage from an apparent tornado, as well. Cars were flipped and several small airplanes were toppled over into a huge pile of debris.
Crowds of people, including Sarah Gregory, stood on top of an overlook to snap photos and selfies of the dramatic damage.
"This is incredible," Gregory said. "This is unprecedented for Hickory."
Gregory was inside her home when the storm passed through.
"The sky turned green really quickly," she said. "People say it sounded like a train but to me, it kind of sounded more like a jet engine."
As a result of storm damage across western North Carolina, several school districts are closed or operating on a delay Tuesday. Closed school districts include Cleveland County and Alexander County. Schools in Caldwell County, Hickory, Mitchell County, and Watauga County are scheduled to operate on a two-hour delay due to storm damage and flooding.
In Caldwell County, five schools will be closed Tuesday due to extensive storm damage in the southern end of the county. Those schools are:
-Dudley Shoals Elementary
-Granite Falls Elementary
-Granite Falls Middle
-South Caldwell High School
PHOTOS: Damaging winds strike Carolinas
PHOTOS: Strong storms bring flooding to the Carolinas
In Blowing Rock, flash flooding was spotted in the area near Tweetsie Railroad and Appalachian Ski Mountain. Flooding was also spotted in several areas of Boone, including the Appalachian State campus and near Walmart.
Shelters have been opened across several counties to provide safe refuge for anyone whose home may have been impacted by the storms.
Cold air is expected to move into the Carolinas Tuesday night, with lows in the upper 30s and low 40s. Wednesday's high will only make it into the upper 50s to around 60. More of the same is expected for Thursday.