BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont residents will be cleaning up for days following Thursday afternoon’s violent storm that blew through town with a fury that few residents had ever seen.
"All of a sudden we heard this roar. The wind picked up really loud. The wind ran into the side of the house - the bay window - and we all got down in the basement,” said Mark McEntire, who was at home when the storm hit.
When it was over, trees littered the roads. Main Street was completely blocked. Dave Miller came outside and found that a tree had smashed his car.
"At first I thought it hit the car in front of mine. I was like 'alright I’m good.' I went over to that window there, I could see it was on mine,” he said. A tree removal service was called to take care of the problem.
Don James had to take care of his own problem - water pooling in an alley.
"I haven’t seen anything like this in Belmont. Like I say, I grew up here," he said.
Duke Energy crews had their work cut out for them. On one street, power lines resembled a spider web from the damage.
Seven-year-old Harley Owensby and his family were out surveying the damage.
"It was like lots of trees were falling down. Power was out and a transformer blew," he said.
Emily Smallwood is planning to sell her home on Todd Road off of North Central Avenue in Belmont. Trees fell on her property, but no damage was found.
"My listing agent is coming (Friday), so it worked out rather nice that I just have a yard to clean up for her. Nothing to the foundation. Nothing to the actual house," Smallwood said.
"This was a terrible thing for this community. It's no question about it,” said Jim Poag, Smallwood's father. “I mean all of us in Gaston County have been hit by the storms one after the other, butthis one was really bad."
More than 8,000 customers were left without power in Mecklenburg County Thursday night. In Gaston County, that number was greater than 5,200 - most of them in Belmont.
As of Friday afternoon, nearly 2,400 in Gaston County were without power, and about 1,400 were still in the dark in Mecklenburg County.