Two-story garage partially collapses after storm

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — After years of living in quake-stricken California, Acey and Carol Worthy thought their days of worrying about collapsing structures were over.
But when they returned to their East Bank Street home from a morning meeting Wednesday, the Worthys noticed a wooden door on the garage was open.
Cracks ran along the front and side of the building, which sits away from the house, they said.
And when Acey Worthy walked to the back of the garage, he saw the problem.
The floor separating the garage’s upstairs from the basement had collapsed. The back wall had split and fallen inward. The other three walls bowed in and out.
Worthy had been working on the home’s foundation, he said, prior to Tuesday night’s thunderstorm.
The large downpour, he said, weakened the ground, and the garage collapsed in on itself.
If he had finished pouring a concrete slab in the two-story garage’s basement, it may have been fine, he said. But if he’d been in the garage when it collapsed, there could have been a much worse outcome.
“Luckily we had a meeting or he would have been buried right there,” Carol Worthy said, pointing toward a pile of plastic tubs and other assorted items that had been stored in the upstairs section.
But the Worthys were in good spirits Wednesday.
Acey said he was planning a shop and craft area after fixing the foundation. Now, he said, he’ll just start anew.
“My reaction was, nobody was hurt. It’s just stuff,” Acey Worthy said. “It’s just a building.”
Frank Thomason, Rowan County emergency management services director, said no one reported storm damage after Tuesday night’s storm.
Kannapolis Fire investigators worked Wednesday to identify the cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant house near Pine Street.
Fire investigator Shane Pethel said late Tuesday that the fire began during the storm, which produced severe lightning. Firefighters arrived on the scene around 8:15 p.m. and worked through the storm to fight the blaze.
Pethel could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.