Hundreds without power after strong storms hit Charlotte area

Evan West surveyed parts of Charlotte after heavy rain and lightning rolled though the Queen City.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a week of scorching hot temperatures, severe thunderstorms came rolling through the viewing area Sunday afternoon and evening.

Mother Nature packed a punch, delivering heavy rain, strong winds, brilliant lightning, as well as flash flooding. In some areas, trees were taken down, toppling over onto houses and blocking roadways.

At one point Sunday, over 5,000 people were without electricity. As of 11:20 a.m., 232 people in Mecklenburg County were without power. According to Duke Energy, nearly 500 customers were without electricity in Catawba County and another 55 in Union County.

A viewer tweeted a video of intense series of lightning in Ballantyne.

All across Charlotte, trees were downed on roads and neighborhoods, including one on Carmel Road in south Charlotte.

The worst damage in the area was south of the border in Rock Hill, where the wind knocked down several utility buildings off a York County road. On Albright Road, a giant branch took down a power line, cutting electricity to a number of families. Ken Bailey's home lost a window during the severe weather. 

"I'm Lucky," said Bailey, explaining that no one was home at the time. "Nothing to complain about."

Officer May of the Rock Hill Police Department used her hands and feet to clean up the unexpected storm. While other police were redirecting traffic, Officer May was clearing debris out of the street.

"One moment we were out helping someone, the next second we were getting hailed on," said May. "This is my third tree in the roadway. We've moved a trampoline out of a roadway, a garbage can, all kinds of stuff."

May, who was hailed a hero on social media for her actions, simply said, "just doing my job."

Back in Charlotte, Freedom Park lost its liberty as a dry Sunday fun day destination, getting hit with more than two inches of rain and stranding a Pokemon hunter underneath a pavilion.

"I came here with a friend," said the Pokemon hunter. "We were playing Pokemon Go and it started to rain and we ran up to the pavilion and it just got worse from there."

The strong storms affected plans for many Charlotteans, including Charlotte Fire, where they had to postpone the Chief Cup, which was originally scheduled for Sunday. The game is being rescheduled for Sunday, August 27, CFD tweeted.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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