Rain, wind from Irma topple trees, power lines across Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Heavy rains and powerful winds brought on by Irma forced trees and power lines to come crashing down throughout the Charlotte area on Monday. Irma was felt in Charlotte as a tropical storm before being downgraded to a tropical depression before 11 p.m.

Duke Energy reported thousands of power outages across the area, including more than 11,000 in Mecklenburg County at the height of the storm.

By noon Tuesday, Mecklenburg County was seeing more than 8,000 still without power.


A large tree toppled over on Pritchard Street in west Charlotte, taking a power line down with it. It crashed down between two homes, missing both houses. No one was hurt.

“I was taking a nap, I heard a crack, I jumped up and looked and I was worried it was my house,” said neighbor Carolina Baldwin.

[IMAGES: Storm damage from Hurricane Irma]

Firefighters came out and placed red tape around the tree and the power lines because they didn’t know if the line was live. Duke Energy crews were called to inspect the power line.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were called around 8 p.m. to block off Redbud Street near Beatties Ford Road in west Charlotte.

A homeowner on Redbud Street told Channel 9 she was relaxing on her porch when her tree crashed down. She said once the tree fell, the whole neighborhood lost power.

“We could be in Florida,” neighbor Russel Pound said. “I feel for the people in Florida and Houston. This was nothing compared to them. We still have our health. Everybody still has their house here.”

Heavy winds also brought a tree down onto a home off of University Drive.

“I pulled up, seen the fire truck there and the tree on the house,” Damon Hegler said. “That’s Mother Nature. At least we wasn’t at home.”

Overnight, Channel 9 crews saw a massive tree that was uprooted and landed on a home off Hempstead Place in Eastover.

In south Charlotte, our crews captured video of a tree that was blocking Beckmore Place near Highway 51.

In east Charlotte, a huge branch broke off from a tree and blocked Commonwealth Avenue in both directions. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

One homeowner told Channel 9 that he actually moved his cars from the driveway the day before, just in case something like that happened.

“Just about any major high wind storm, one of these trees are going to go down,” said Russel Pound.

Duke Energy officials said their crews are still assessing damage across the city and hope to have repairs finished by Tuesday night.

Around 8:15 a.m., a crash brought power lines down across South Boulevard at East Boulevard.

Meanwhile, in Lancaster, tropical storm winds flipped siding on the county’s administrative building.

In Chester County, branches toppled onto power lines along Lancaster Highway, causing hundreds of power outages in the area.

In Iredell County, a tree fell on a home trapping a man.

He was alert when emergency crews arrived on Brookridge Lane and is expected to be OK.

The main roof was destroyed.

In Hickory, a large tree crashed down onto power lines next to Oakwood Elementary School, causing the school to operate on a 3-hour delay.

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