Rowan misses worst of severe weather roaring through western counties

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2012

RALEIGH (AP) — An apparent tornado ripped through Rutherford and Burke counties in western North Carolina, injuring at least three people while damaging dozens of buildings and a mobile home park, National Weather Service officials said Wednesday.
Meteorologist Doug Outlaw of the weather service office in Greer, S.C., said the storm first struck in Ellenboro in eastern Rutherford County. He said emergency personnel had to airlift three people from the area for medical treatment.
Outlaw said the storm then went into eastern Burke County, where a mobile home park was “nearly wiped out.” There were multiple injuries and damage to other homes, including one family being trapped in a basement when the storm toppled the house on top of them, he said.
Lisa Propst, of Burke County Emergency Services told The Charlotte Observer that eastern and southeast parts of her county “have received devastating effects from tornado-like conditions.”
“Several homes have sustained heavy damage, and power lines and utility poles are downed throughout the area,” said Propst.