ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — As tornado warnings sounded off in the Carolinas, an Alexnader County family said they were prepared for emergencies even as the weather brought a tree down on their driveway.
Tropical Depression Fred's remnants crept up the Carolinas, spurring up storms in the Charlotte metro area. Just off of Lentz Road in eastern Alexander County, Cindy Wessollek and her seven grandchildren were ready for it all. Wessollek says the kids have all been taught about what they need to do just in case. She described to WCNC Charlotte how she prepared one of her grandsons.
"So we all had cell phones and we had them charged, had them with us just in case we needed them and taught him how to use it in case because he was worried something would happen to me, and I'm like, 'okay, here's how to use it. just call 911; that's all you got to do'," she said.
The storms were certainly scary, and they were powerful too. A tree was knocked down and blocked the mile-long driveway leading to homes off of Lentz Road. Renea Stamey, who was blocked off by the tree, said that caught her off-guard.
"When I got to my road, I was like, 'wow!', kind of blown away. I didn't really expect it. Like, I can't even get down my driveway," she said.
While the storms were nerve-wracking, Wessollek says her family was able to stay focused on remaining calm, sticking together, and staying safe.
"I wasn't nervous, but they were," she said. "I guess because I'm older, I don't think about it, but they were nervous, and I was a little bit, I guess, but I knew what to do. I knew to get them somewhere safe and hunker down until it was over."
The families off of Lentz Road saw the first round of tornado warnings that unfolded Tuesday afternoon. The second round of storms unfolded before 3 p.m., and the third round of warnings was issued shortly before 4 p.m. The third wave included warnings in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties. yet another series of warnings extended more warnings through 5:45 p.m.