Spring Storm Brings Tornadoes, Floods to Southeast

April 18, 2018

A mid-April storm that pushed across the U.S. created a tornado in North Carolina that killed a person, caused widespread power outages in North and South Carolina and caused flooding emergencies in West Virginia and Kentucky.

In Mississippi, 80 people had to be rescued from a campground festival after heavy rains caused flooding in the area.

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that a tornado with 135 mph (217 kph) winds rumbled through Greensboro, North Carolina, on Sunday, leaving thousands without power and canceling classes. Some roads were blocked by downed trees and power lines.

More than 50,000 customers were without electricity on Monday after storms swept through North and South Carolina, leaving at least one person dead.

Police said 48-year-old Anthony George of Greensboro was killed about 5:45 p.m. Sunday when a tree fell on his car.

Duke Energy reported about 37,000 customers without power in North Carolina. The biggest problems were in Guilford and Mecklenburg counties.

Electric cooperatives in North Carolina had about 4,500 customers without service Monday. Burke County had about half of those outages.

Television stations in Charlotte posted images of large hail on Twitter, and the National Weather Service received reports of golf ball-sized hail in several counties. The Charlotte Fire Department also responded to “numerous storm-related calls for trees and lines down.”

Officials in Lexington County, South Carolina, posted photos online of a house that had been damaged, while the National Weather Service received a report of the roof being blown off an agricultural building elsewhere in the county. The sheriff’s office said downed trees blocked roads in multiple locations.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for 10 counties where heavy rainfall caused flooding.

Justice’s office said in a news release Monday that some locations were evacuated. The State Emergency Operations Center was activated, and the West Virginia National Army Guard was on standby to assist.

The counties included in the declaration are Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster.

Del. Patrick Martin of Weston said in a news release that flooding closed Interstate 79 at Jane Lew, with several other roads in the area under water as well.

The state Division of Highways reported 75 road closings statewide due to high water, damaged pavement or rock slides.

Authorities in Mississippi said heavy rainfall unleashed flooding that required emergency workers to rescue 80 festivalgoers by boat and air.

WLOX-TV cites the George County Sheriff’s Office said that most of the campers who were evacuated from the Red Creek Off-Road park Sunday morning were attending the annual Mud Bug Bash, which featured a duck hunt, free crawfish and a concert.

George County Emergency Management Agency Director Nancy Smith estimated that at least 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell over 24 hours.

No major injuries were reported.

The sheriff’s office said the rescue operation was its largest ever.

Topics Catastrophe Natural Disasters Windstorm Flood North Carolina Virginia South Carolina West Virginia

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