Worst summer storm in years batters southern Rowan
A fierce storm swept through Rowan county around 7 p.m. Monday night, knocking down trees and power lines and heavily damaging a China Grove business.
More than 1,800 Duke Energy customers remained without power around 8 p.m. Most appeared centered along a line from the Goodnight Road area through Shue Road into China Grove.
The storm cut a swath between five and eight miles long, according to Frank Thomason, county emergency services director. He described it as one of the worst summer storms in several years to target Rowan County.
Thomason said a meteorologist from the National Weather Service will join him in surveying the damage Tuesday to determine if any of the damage was caused by tornadoes.
Fire departments across the area scrambled to deal with broken limbs, downed trees and power lines. Several barns, pole barns and utility buildings within the swath were damaged.
There were no reports of injuries.
China Grove took a direct hit, with areas of the town without power. Police were having to handle traffic at intersections.
Grove Supply, a 59-year-old family business, took a direct hit from the storm, which tore the roof off much of the building complex that spreads along U.S. 29.
The storm also ripped the roof off a warehouse building at the rear and crushed the brick walls.
Firefighters from Bostian Heights quickly arrived on the scene, but couldn’t search the buildings until the gas and electricity were cut off.
Mark Huffman, owner of Grove Supply, said the damage appears more extensive than a similar storm that hit 10 years ago.
Huffman said they replaced the roof after that hit. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it this time. It looks like there is a lot of structural damage.”