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LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- Heavy storms hammered downtown Lincolnton Sunday afternoon, uprooting trees and taking power lines down with them.

A giant tree broke from its base and fell on the historic post office on Main Street, but didn t appear to crush the roof.

I got five text messages saying there was a tree on the post office, said postal carrier Mark Ludwig, who stopped by after dark to survey the damage. His postmaster told him the building was unsafe until it could be checked out in the morning.

Ludwig said postal employees will have to improvise.

They ll have a makeshift where we sort mail, and try to get first classand priority out of here, said Ludwig.

A few blocks away, grand old trees fell dangerously close to andsometimes on top of grand old houses. Police dispatchers reported atleast five streets blocked by trees.

One fell through the roof of a house on Oak Street while the owners wereinside with their granddaughter. No one was hurt in that home oranywhere else in town, according to police.

I heard a sound like a whistling, and I looked out and the trees wereall blowing in one direction, said the owners neighbor Teresa Atchley.

Then she heard a crash.

I thought it was a tornado because this tree fell and two trees on theirroof, Atchley said, pointing. Never saw anything like it.

The National Weather Service said winds in excess of 60 mph areto blame for the downed trees and power lines.

Pike Electric crews helped Duke Energy crews repair broken poles and getthe lights back on before the sun went down. Just after the storm, morethan a thousand Duke Power customers had no electricity. By 9 p.m., thatnumber was down to two.

Tree-trimming and electric crews continued to drive up and down MainStreet well past 11 p.m. Teresa Atchley is glad it wasn t worse.

We re just thankful everyone s okay, and we appreciate everyone in theneighborhood coming by to check, she said with a smile.

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