Strong storms bring damaging hail, heavy rain and winds to area

Strong storms bring hail, heavy rain and winds to area

The National Weather Service issued a series of watches and warnings for North Carolina and South Carolina as severe weather barreled through the two states.

Damaging winds, heavy rain and lighting were the main threats.

The storm caused widespread damage including downed trees and fires that may have been caused by lightning strikes.

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(Fort Mill, S.C.)

10:10 p.m.: Huntersville Fire Department officials said they responded to nine storm-related calls between 6:45 p.m. and 8:51 p.m.

9:30 p.m.: Duke Energy reports 3,204 power outages in Mecklenburg County, 1,373 in Union and 3,296 in York.

9:10 p.m.: Heavy winds brought down a barn on Brown-Grier Road in Charlotte, officials said.

9 p.m.: Charlotte was dropped from the severe thunderstorm watch, but continues for eastern counties until 10 p.m.

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8:40 p.m.: Officials are investigating if lightning caused a fire at a home on Meacham Street in South End, Charlotte. No injuries were reported.

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8:35 p.m.: There were 51 accidents reported, according to the CMPD traffic website.

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8:30 p.m.: The ground stop at the airport was lifted. Expect departures to be delayed 46-60 minutes.

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8:21 p.m.: Ground stop at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is in effect for American Airlines flights only.

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8:15 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning for Lancaster County until 9 p.m.

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8 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning extended for Stanly County until 8:45 p.m.

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7:46 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, and Union counties until 9 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Chester and York counties in South Carolina until 9 p.m.

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7:30 p.m.: Nearly 100 lightning strikes over Charlotte.

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7:15 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warnings for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, and Union counties until 8 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for York County, South Carolina until 8 p.m.

60 mph winds are possible.

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6:23 p.m.: The FAA has issued a ground stop at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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6:22 p.m.: A state trooper working an accident in Hickory was struck along Highway 321.

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6:20 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Rowan counties 7:15 p.m.

6:08 p.m.: Cleveland County is cleared from the severe thunderstorm warning. The warning continues for Gaston and Lincoln counties until 6:30 p.m.

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6 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning expired for Iredell County, but continues for Davie and Rowan counties until 6:15 p.m.

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5:47 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning for Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties until 6:30 p.m.

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5:45 p.m.: Tornado warning expired for Iredell County.

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5:41 p.m.: Severe thunderstorm warning for Iredell and Rowan counties until 6:15 p.m.

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5:38 p.m.: 5:37 p.m.: Wall cloud spotted 5 miles northwest of Troutman, according to the National Weather Service.

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5:33 p.m. Alexander and Catawba counties no longer under a tornado warning. Iredell County is still under a tornado warning.

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5:27 p.m.: No reports of problems from the storm in Caldwell County other than heavy rain, officials said.

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5:23 p.m.: Reports of golf-ball sized hail, gas leaks and power lines down in Hickory.

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5:15 p.m.: System has winds 90 mph near I-40, east of Hickory. No reports of tornado but real signs of rotation in the cell, moving east at 50 mph.

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5:09 p.m.: Tornado warning for Alexander, Catawba and Iredell counties until 5:45 p.m.

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5:05 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Cleveland County until 5:45 p.m.

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4:41 p.m.: Tornado Warning issued for Burke and Catawba counties until 5:15 p.m.

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4:35 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties until 5:15 p.m.

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4:00 p.m.: The main line of storms is still about 150 miles west of the Charlotte area heading to the east and northeast at 50 mph.

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3:00 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for the majority of the Charlotte area until 10 p.m. Wednesday. The threats could include 70 mph winds, large hail, strong wind and possible tornado.

Click PLAY to watch Steve Udelson and Christine Rapp give a storm update

Severe a Thunderstorm Watch issued for the Carolinas. Latest on threats and timing with Steve Udelson and Meteorologist Christine Rapp

Posted by WSOC-TV on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WEDNESDAY: Temperatures will continue to climb through the afternoon hours, with highs reaching the upper 70s. Showers will continue to move into the mountains through the mid-afternoon, pushing into the metro during the evening commute.

Damaging winds, heavy rain and lightning are the main threats, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

HIGH COUNTRY AND FOOTHILLS: Channel 9 spoke with Blue Ridge Electric and officials said they are on high alert because of the approaching storms. Their biggest concern is straight line winds as the systems moves through the mountains.

Line crews are expecting winds approaching 40 mph not only in the High Country, but also the Foothills.

Eyewitness News was out with some of those crews Wednesday morning. They said their trucks are stocked with supplies, ready for the weather, and are urging people to stay away from any downed lines.

"Far as being prepared, our trucks are stocked. Extra wires and sleeves. Chainsaws gassed up,” said Josh Greene. “Safety is our utmost concern for the public and ourselves."

Several school districts in the High Country aren't taking any chances, and will be sending children home early Wednesday. One superintendent told Channel 9 he was concerned that the worst weather is expected to hit just when the buses normally roll out.

Ashe, Avery and Watauga County Schools decided to dismiss class early due to the severe weather.

Ashe County:

  • Elementary Schools - Dismiss at noon
  • Middle Schools - Dismiss at 12:30 p.m.
  • High Schools- Dismiss at 1 p.m.

Avery County: 

  • Newland Elementary- Dismiss at noon
  • All other schools- Dismiss at 12:30 p.m.
  • Facutly and staff- Leave at 1:30 p.m.

Watauga County:

  • K-8 Schools- Dismiss at noon
  • High School- Dismiss at 1 p.m.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Showers will clear out by the start of the morning drive on Thursday and much cooler air will filter in for the rest of the week.

Highs on Thursday will top off in the low 60s, upper 50s for Friday. Sunshine will continue as we end the week.

The early preview of the weekend looks sunny and mild, with temperatures staying in the 60s. A decent freeze is likely by Saturday morning.

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