Last Resort Posted June 17, 2009 Share Posted June 17, 2009 Forecasters say another day of strong thunderstorms is facing the Charlotte metro region, in the wake of an evening that produced damaging storms and possible tornadoes in a four-county area west of Charlotte. No injuries were reported Tuesday night when a pair of powerful thunderstorms rumbled southward across Cleveland County in North Carolina, and York, Chester and Cherokee counties in South Carolina. Another round of storms late Tuesday night caused minor flooding in the northwest North Carolina mountains, near the Virginia border. Forecasters say severe thunderstorms will be a threat again today, but the development of a few showers this morning in the Charlotte area could lessen the threat later in the day. Those showers are preventing sunshine from breaking through the clouds and producing the surface heat needed to trigger thunderstorms. If clouds stay in place until midday or early this afternoon, that could serve to weaken the late-day thunderstorms. If the sun breaks through, however, it could be another stormy day. The threat today would be from large hail and damaging winds, forecasters say. Today is expected to mark the end in the current run of daily thunderstorms, and the first heat wave of the season is forecast to begin Thursday. There will still be a chance of a thunderstorm Thursday afternoon, but afternoon high temperatures are forecast to approach 90 degrees. And on Friday, with only an isolated storm expected, the forecast high is 95 degrees. Temperatures on Saturday are expected to be equally hot. The prediction for Fathers Day is for sunny skies and highs in the low 90s. In the meantime, cleanup is under way today in the counties hit by Tuesday night's storms. Chainsaws are a common sound, with hundreds of trees knocked down. And insurance adjustors will be very busy today, looking at vehicles damaged by the large hail that fell in many areas. Hail as big as tennis balls fell in Chester County, and strong winds, possibly from a tornado, destroyed a concrete building about 5 miles west of York. Storm damage forced the N.C. Highway Patrol to close the southbound side of Interstate 85 near the N.C.-S.C. border for a few hours Tuesday night. Troopers say a number of trees were blown down near mile marker 2, so southbound traffic was forced to get off I-85 at Exit 4. It appears as if two severe thunderstorms were responsible for the damage west of Charlotte. One storm raked across much of Cleveland County and western York County. That system produced reports of tornadoes in eastern Cleveland County, about 3 miles west of Cherryville, at 6:15 p.m.; and 6 miles northwest of Kings Mountain, about 6:35 p.m. A second storm formed in southern York County and moved into Chester County. It produced two reports of a tornado on the ground in York County, about 7 p.m. That twister was reported to be on Black Highway, near Beersheeba Road, about 5 miles northwest of York. Cotton Howell, emergency services director for York County, said there were no reports of major damage. He said most of the damage reports came from the western part of the county. The hail damaged cars and buildings. There were numerous reports of hail more than 1.5 inches in diameter, including a report of 2.5-inch hail (tennis ball-sized) on U.S. 321 at Cornwell Road, in the Chester County community of Cornwell. In Cleveland County, the worst damage appeared to be near Kings Mountain. Several roads were blocked by downed trees, including the main road to Kings Mountain State Park. Strong winds, possibly from a tornado, mowed down a row of trees on the east side of Kings Mountain Reservoir. Thousands of Duke Energy customers, and several thousand more customers of electric cooperatives, lost power. Duke Energy reported about 3,000 Cleveland County customers still without power this morning. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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