…central north carolina tornadoes

We have some wacky weather in the Tarheel State.  For example, stand in your front yard where it is sunny and look across the street at your neighbor’s home to see rain. There’s not much snow but we have snice (snow and ice mix).  The humidity in the summertime defies description and how people lived here before air conditioning mystifies me.  We have hurricanes.

Seldom, if ever, do we have tornadoes in this part of the state.  The last tornado to tag Raleigh visited in 1988.  I used to live in a house that hosted that tornado for tea. Before that, it was 1984.

Then there was yesterday.  Late afternoon came the beast that ate the piedmont.  The estimate of fatalities stands at two dozen as I write this post.  According to the most recent report, a total of 62 tornadoes touched down.

Mother Nature’s fury cannot quite be captured in words.  One needs pictures to process the destruction.  Far be it from me to not deliver.

More information on the storm can be found at WRAL’s website.  The viewer submitted photos are astonishing.

The pink streaks are the paths of the tornadoes.

The storm rolls into downtown Raleigh.

Debris litters downtown Raleigh.

Highway 42 outside of Sanford, NC.

Lowe’s home improvement store, a big box retailer, in Sanford, NC.

Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC (outside of Dock Ellis’ office).

10 thoughts on “…central north carolina tornadoes

  1. Absolutely amazing. I have never experienced anything like that. Toronto is relatively disaster free in terms of Mother Nature. The last thing anyone ever talks about is Hurricane Hazel from 1957. Sweden, well, ditto eller hur?
    It must seem that in that instant the earth has a “Network” moment, a lá the movie of the same name and screams “Fuck You! I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”
    Glad you’re unscathed though, and hope people find a way to laugh it off, as crazy as that sounds.

  2. sweet baby jesus. that destruction is astonishing! i don’t think we’ve seen that many tornadoes in this part of the country, and we certainly get our fair share. i am very very very happy that you guys escaped unscathed. i feel very bad that some people did not. 😦

  3. This is what I do! Not causing destruction, but respond to it. Even though it would appear that authorities are not responding fast enough at times, they are working as fast as they can. Responding to a disaster takes a lot of emergency management and authorities cannot be everywhere at once. Rest assured that the professionals are probably working 12 to 16 hour days right now. Good luck everybody!

  4. Kang and Milkface slept through it, I was working in an old theater in Durham, about 30 minutes north of Raleigh. My first indication anything was amiss was when water started coming down the aisle. Given that we weren’t on a boat I didn’t think much of it, but when water started seeping in through the ceiling I began to get annoyed. Eventually, Kang called and told me what happened. Everyone I’ve talked to is OK, but my friend Jon’s house is pretty close to the impact zone and he won’t have power for a few days. We’re pretty lucky.

  5. Jeeeeeesus Christ, Kang and Dock and Milkface, I’m so glad that you are all okay. Hurricanes don’t frighten me so much because I’ve been through a few typhoons and similar storms, but tornadoes scare the living shit out of me. I could never live in a place where they hit regularly. I wouldn’t be caught dead Kansas or Oklahoma. Funnily enough, earthquakes don’t bother me either, probably because I grew up experiencing them regularly.

  6. We are so very fortunate to have dodged this. I don’t know what it is about our pocket of Raleigh but a bulk of the horrific weather seems to pass over our neck of the woods. Maybe they were on to something when they built the airport on this side of town?

    Shaw University had to cancel classes for the rest of the semester. Fortunately, the seniors will be able to graduate.

    The school closing report tomorrow should be interesting…


  7. Getting an update now:
    Disaster Alert

    North Carolina – A violent storm system slashed across the state on Saturday with apparent tornadoes touching down, causing multiple deaths and leaving a wide swath of property damage, downed trees and many residents without power. About 1,000 homes sustained damage or were destroyed and another 1,000 were affected in 15 counties.

    Chapters are mobilizing staff and resources. They are in contact with their local and state Emergency Management Offices.

    The Pitt, Onslow and Wayne County Chapters opened one shelter each.

    The Frederick E. Turnage Chapter opened two shelters and sent out 6 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) to provide Mass Care to the affected area.

    The Highlands Chapter opened five shelters yesterday.

    The Triangle Area Chapter opened one shelter and supported four others; they will dispatch 6 ERVs to provide Mass Care and necessary items to affected residents.

    There were 14 in state ERVs that travelled to Raleigh and Rocky Mountain to provide services to clients today; an additional 12 have been requested from out of state.

    Disaster Assessment teams have been deployed and is ongoing.

    All client needs are being met through mass care.

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