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Minimal damage from Thursday storms

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY – Rowan and surrounding counties could continue to see afternoon and evening storms through the weekend before cooler and drier weather returns Monday.
The National Weather Service is forecasting scattered thunderstorms across the western Carolinas this evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, some of which will be severe and produce large hail and damaging winds.
Like the storms that moved through Rowan County Thursday, they will be fairly slow moving, resulting in locally heavy rainfall and possible isolated flash flooding.
There is a slight to moderate chance of thunderstorms each day and night until Monday, with the greatest chance on Sunday afternoon after 1 p.m., the National Weather Service forecasts. High temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s next week.
Thursday evening’s storms caused a lot of commotion but little damage in parts of the county, said County Emergency Director Frank Thomason.
Large hail, high winds and heavy rainfall was reported from two isolated severe thunderstorms. The first hit the southwestern part of the county, near China Grove, Landis and Kannapolis, from about 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
The second passed through Salisbury around Jake Alexander Boulevard and South Main Street from about 5 to 5:45 p.m., and Thomason said there were two damage reports from that area.
At 913 Airport Road, a 30-square-foot section of a warehouse roof collapsed, and an exterior wall segment also was damaged in the process. Thomason said a similar partial collapse happened about a year ago at the same building.
“We are suspecting… that the amount of rain and excessive water on the roof caused the collapse,” he said. “We are pretty confident it wasn’t wind related.”
An initial report said a tree had fallen on a mobile home on Dollie Circle and trapped people inside, but by the time emergency responders arrived, everyone was safely outside. Thomason said a small tree apparently broke and fell onto the corner of the home, which sustained minor damage.
There also were a few reports of power lines down and about 1,200 to 1,500 outages in that area of Salisbury, he said.
John Patterson of Spencer reported that an oak tree had split in half and one half had fallen at about 9 p.m. this morning. There was no structure damage to the two surrounding homes, but there was some superficial damage. Patterson believed the oak tree had fallen due to storm damage the night before.
 No other damage was reported as the system slowly drifted over eastern Rowan County.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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