ASHEBORO NC (ACME NEWS) – A severe thunderstorm tore through Randolph County Sunday afternoon with damaging hail and straight line winds. In its path it left downed trees and power lines and rumors of a possible tornado.
Just after 2PM on Sunday afternoon a strong thunderstorm entered Randolph County. By 2:20PM the storm was intensifying over Asheboro. At around 2:30 PM the was storm passing east of Asheboro. By this time the storm had rapidly gained significant strength and was dumping heavy rain with golf-ball sized hail. Strong straight line winds and localized micro-burst ripped down tress blocking roadways and causing power-outages. At 2:42 PM the National Weather Service in Raleigh issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for eastern Randolph County.
The first 911 calls about storm damage in Randolph County came in at 2:30 PM. In total emergency crews responded to two residential structure fires, 5 calls for trees on a house, 15 calls for trees in the roadway, 11 calls for trees down on power lines, and 3 other service calls related to storm damage.
Most of those calls about damage were located off two roads, Iron Mountain Rd and Foxfire Rd. On Old Stagecoach Rd two tress fell one on a home and the other on two cars in the front drive way of the home beside it. Emergency crews worked to clear roadways where they could and block off other parts of the roadways where trees were down with power lines until the power company could arrive. One power company employee said he had 52 calls pending for lines down. On Foxfire Rd trees and telephone poles were torn in half with power lines laying across a quarter-mile stretch of roadway.
“I thought for sure it was a tornado, I mean it sounded like a train outside my house. One home owner told our photojournalist “the hail sounded like bricks were falling on the house”. Another home owner said he just barley made it inside and had to fight to get the door closed because it felt like it was being sucked back open. While there were reports of a funnel cloud the National Weather Service in Raleigh says there was no tornado.
Speaking by phone a meteorologist with National Weather Service told Acme News that “there was nothing in the radar field to indicate a tornado, what we did see were straight line winds with a quick collapse of the core causing localized down burst” The damage was consistent with straight line winds and down-burst with the majority of trees that fell and debris that was blown all going in the same direction, east, the same direction as the storms direction of travel.
Emergency crews worked into the evening keeping roads blocked where lines were down and as of today reports all but 3 customers power has been restored. We are sure insurance adjusters have their hands full today residents begin to file claims and continue to clean up.