• NWS confirms EF-2 tornado swept through Charlotte

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - The National Weather Service has confirmed that a EF-2 tornado ripped though eastern Mecklenburg County and into Cabarrus County Saturday morning.

    The powerful storm damaged 200 homes and completely destroyed at least seven of those  homes as it ripped through around 2:32 a.m.

    The tornado carved a 4-mile path of destruction through two counties.  The twister started its fury in the Reddy Creek neighborhood in East Mecklenburg County and traveled over I-485 to Robinson Church Road and Peach Orchard Road in Harrisburg and Cabarrus County.

    The tornado created wind speeds of 130-135 mph, stretched 150-200 yards wide and about four miles in length.

    SLIDESHOW: Houses destroyed, cars flipped over in east Charlotte

    Neighbors, church groups and community organizations pulled together and offered help just hours after the damage was realized.

    They are showing up in large numbers, clearing trees, hauling away debris and just lending a helping hand where it is needed.

    People showed up to help Gary Norkett after the tornado tore up his home on Plaza Road extension.

    Norkett and many of his neighbors are still trying to dig out Sunday, after enduring what he describes as a storm right out of the movies.

    "We got down in the hallway, and stayed in the hallway," said Norkett.

    Friends and neighbors are doing what they can to slice up and carry off thousands of fallen trees.

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    Duke Energy last reported only 80 residents are without power now in the Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County area.

    That number has dropped drastically in just one day. Over 2000 residents were without power Saturday due to the powerful tornado.

    They are working around the clock to get the remainder of the 80 homes back up and running with electricity.

    The Red Cross reported approximately 132 homes were damaged, eight with major damage, three completely  destroyed in Mecklenburg County. Cabarrus County had  49 homes that were damaged, 14 with major damage and four destroyed beyond repair.

    The storm left behind severe damage to homes on Brookstead Drive near the Reedy Creek Plantation area.  Roofs were torn off the houses and vehicles were lifted and flipped over.

    Medical officials said they have transported three people with injuries sustained from the storms.  There was no word on the severity of those injuries.

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    Emergency responders said many roads were obstructed by downed trees in the area of Plaza Road Extension.

    Medical officials said they have transported three people with injuries sustained from the storms.  There was no word on the severity of those injuries.

    Emergency responders said many roads were obstructed by downed trees in the area of Plaza Road Extension.

    The Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at for affected residents at Hickory Ridge High School and Northridge Middle School.

    WATCH: Mobile command center set up at Reedy Creek Elementary School

    Red Cross volunteers are at the scene to support those affected and the efforts of first responders.

    Channel 9 reporter Andrew Doud said about 25 people are currently at the shelter, 12 firefighters are there helping those residents and about 50 firefighters have responded to the damage in the area.

    RAW VIDEO: Reedy Creek area damaged by storm

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    Cabarrus County

    Cabarrus County has declared a State of Emergency for the area near Harrisburg hit by the tornado Saturday morning. 

    Cabarrus County's certified property assessors estimated the replacement cost of the 49 damaged homes to reach nearly $1.9 million. 

    The breakdown of property damage around the Steeple Chase neighborhood off Robinson Church Road in Harrisburg includes four homes destroyed at around 100 percent loss.

    There are 14 homes with major damage reaching up to 50 percent loss. Thirteen homes have minor damage at approximately 15 percent loss. Eighteen homes have been affected by the tornado with mostly cosmetic damage at a five percent loss.

    WATCH: Families trying to piece together what the tornado ripped apart

    State damage assessment teams will be in Cabarrus County Monday to determine if these properties qualify for state or federal assistance. If eligible, any property owners who are under-insured will be notified of when and how to apply for assistance. 

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    The American Red Cross will keep the emergency shelter at Hickory Ridge High School open through the night for any tornado victims needing a place to eat or sleep. 

    Cabarrus County officials have set up a temporary shelter at Hickory Ridge High School for residents affected by the storm.

    Officials said trees and other debris have fallen onto several road south of Harrisburg, between Robinson Church Road and Interstate 485.

    WATCH: Cabarrus Co. emergency official describes severe damage

    Robinson Church Road has been closed through Crozier Branch Road.  Downed power lines and other damage has closed Peach Orchard Road.

    Cabarrus County has 1,100 residents without power.

    A Cabarrus County barn had its roof ripped off, exposing the horses that were still inside.  No injuries to the horses were reported.

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