Possible tornado leaves mark on East Ridge Road neighborhood
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2011
By Nathan Hardin
Strong winds caused significant damage to the trees around an East Ridge Road home Monday night.
Frank Thomason, director of Rowan County emergency management services, said the damage has not been classified as from a tornado, but neighbors in the area disagree.
Jim Hutchinson, who lives at 2545 E. Ridge Road, said the storm was “really loud.”
“It sounded like a train,” Hutchinson said. “My neighbor shouted ‘I need a flashlight.’ I thought her trailer was gone.”
Hutchinson said he heard the Ellis Cross Country Fire Department alarm about 8:30 p.m., but didn’t expect damage so close to his property.
“It uprooted trees everywhere,” he said.
Hutchinson and several other neighbors stopped and looked at 2475 E. Ridge Road on Tuesday to see the damage. The home’s yard appeared to have some of the worst damage in the area.
According to Thomason, the damage was isolated to one square block.
“The National Weather Service has been advised,” Thomason said. “The majority of the damage showed the wind in a straight line from the southeast to the northwest.”
Thomason said the storm has not been confirmed as a tornado, but “that certainly doesn’t mean one was not trying to form in that area.”
There were no injuries reported and the only structural damage was to a nearby barn roof.
Neighbor Paul Sullivan said he heard the storm about 11:15 p.m. Sullivan said his wife asked him if the noise was a truck, but he quickly realized the roar was from the advancing storm winds.
“The whole side of our house was getting pelted by debris,” Sullivan said. “We actually went to the basement for a few minutes.”