CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hail the size of baseballs and golf balls fell during severe thunderstorms Saturday evening across the Carolinas, damaging vehicles and homes.
There were over 250 reports of large hail and hail damage across the United States Saturday, and a lot of that was North and South Carolina,” says First Warn Storm Team Meteorologist John Wendel.
NewsChannel 36 viewers sent in dozens of photos showing back yards and parking lots covered in hail.
The storms started at about 3:30 p.m. when the first tornado warning was issued in Ashe County.
The storm moved in Burke County and continued gaining strength as it entered Cleveland and Gaston counties. Burke County authorities said seven people were struck by lightning at the county fairgrounds and were taken to a local hospital.
In Cleveland County, NewsChannel 36 weather spotters reported large hail and trees down along Double Shoals Road north of Shelby.
In Cherryville, tornado sirens sounded.
Motorists traveling along Interstate 85 in Gaston County were hit with heavy rain and hail at about 5 p.m. Golf ball sized hail was reported in Bessemer City. At the Gaston County Airport, officials reported that large hail damaged several planes.
No tornado touchdowns were confirmed, but spotters reported rotating wall clouds associated with the storm.
The storm entered Mecklenburg County by 6 p.m., pounding Charlotte-Doulgas International Airport with heavy rain and hail.
The Charlotte Knights baseball game in Fort Mill, S.C., was postponed as baseball-sized hail fell on the field.
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