PHOTOS Cleanup still underway after powerful storms slam Charlotte area

Credit: Dayna Monson

PHOTOS Cleanup still underway after powerful storms slam Charlotte area

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by BORA KIM & BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte Staff & WCNC.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @BoraKimWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 9:12 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Powerful storms that brought heavy rain and strong winds caused widespread damage and power outage across the Charlotte area Thursday night.

Residents in Albemarle along North Sixth Street emerged from their homes Friday morning to assess the damage from Thursday evening's severe storms.

Click here to see viewer storm pictures

"We can't come out the front door because everything’s blocking the front door right now,” said Denise Drye.

Several large trees feel in front of Drye’s home.

The storm toppled trees, tore down powers lines, and left an electrical transformer from a nearby power pole sitting in the middle of East Street.

Several street blocks were closed Friday morning because of the damage.

"Scariest 30 seconds of my life,” said neighbor Peggy Springer.

The storm left most of Albemarle without power Friday morning, leaving the city without stop lights.

Power crews, utility crews, and emergency authorities were planning to spend Friday assessing, and fixing the damage.

The storm hit hard in Cabarrus County, where winds of up to 60-70 mph took down trees, limbs and power lines. A massive tree was uprooted on Concord Parkway in Concord and landed on an apartment complex.

“It scared me to death,” resident Shirley Carr said.

Carr lit a candle after her power went out. She says it was less than five minutes later when heard a crack and saw the tree crash into her house.

Carr made it out of the back door safely. No one was injured. The county’s emergency management team says it was just one of several calls regarding fallen trees and power outages.

The City of Concord received about 30 reports of homes damaged by the storm, mostly caused by fallen trees and tree limbs.

"There is a lot of work that needs to be done in this part of town," said Peter Franzese, with the City of Concord. "Whole sections of infrastructure has to be rebuilt," he added.

Crews can be seen installing power-poles from the ground up.

Many of the poles had been recently repaired following Monday's storm.

Homes near Union Street saw extensive damage.

High winds uprooted a century-old tree on Greg Wiseman's street.

"All of a sudden a transformer exploded,  then we heard a big crack," he said.

 "We saw all these wires rolling, we didn't know what was going on in the side of the house, there were sparks and everything, we were scared to death," he said.

Wiseman was pleased to see that after he and his family had spent the night in a hotel, the power was back on by morning.

Mary Weaver looked on as a 6,000 pound crane had to be brought in to remove three trees that had toppled onto her roof. 

One trunk measured 78 feet and weighed about 7,000 pounds.  With the help of a tree-cutting service, the family worked to clean up six trees that had fallen on their property.

The widespread damage meant, restoration workers like Sam Christner were in high demand Friday.

He was helping access damage at a home where the branches had pierced through the roof.

 "Basically under all that debris, there is no roof," he said.

"That's kind of the challenge. It's to get it off so we can at least get a tarp on it so the structure doesn't  get flooded the next time it rains."

About 60 of the city's utility staff are scheduled to work into the night and through the weekend until power is restored.

As of Friday afternoon, 8,000 feet of primary voltage wire remained down. 

Crews from other city departments have been asked to assist in the collection of yard waste.
 

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The story was the same in Statesville, where firefighters across Iredell County were interrupted on their way to a service call by a new roadblock. Trees happened to fall just near the mayor’s mother’s house across the road, preventing fire crews from getting through.

One lieutenant told NBC Charlotte the damage was the worst it’s been in Statesville in years. There weren’t any injuries reported there either.

Flights were delayed in and out of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The wait for incoming flights topped out at around 45 minutes Thursday afternoon and an hour-and-a-half for outgoing flights.
 
The massive storm system started in the Upper Midwest and plowed across the country, hitting Mid-Atlantic and Southern states on Thursday. It caused widespread power outages and flash flooding, but so far hasn't lived up to its billing.
 
Duke Energy continues to tackle area power outages, totals of which reached more than 350,000 in the Carolinas right after the storm. Duke reports the hardest hit areas were Wake, Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Johnston, Moore, Guilford, Lee and Rockingham

Customers who need to report an outage can call 1-800-769-3766.

See current power outages here
 
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for many North Carolina

If you can safely snap a picture of storm damage, please email it to pics@wcnc.com or post to our Facebook page.

 

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