• 57°

Gusty winds bring down power lines, trees as Zeta remnants roll through Rowan County

SALISBURY — Nearly 7,000 people in Rowan County were without power on Thursday as strong wind gusts from the remnants of Hurricane Zeta brought down trees and power lines throughout the area.

Gusts of wind reaching about 40 mph were recorded in the morning at the Mid Carolina Regional Airport, Airport Director Valerie Steele said. Steele said that wind speeds consistently topped 20 mph during that period. Those wind speeds in Rowan County were consistent with others recorded across the South Carolina and North Carolina region, said Bill Martin, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service Office in Greenville-Spartanburg. 

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning as Zeta quickly rolled through the Carolinas Thursday morning, passing into Virginia by the afternoon. Martin said that tropical storm warnings aren’t common this far inland, but that the National Weather Service issues at least one every two to three years.

Photo submitted by Valerie Samaroo – This photo shows a downed tree in the Meadowbrook development after remnants of Hurricane Zeta came through Thursday.

While rain fell intermittently in the region and caused flooding in some areas, wind was the greatest threat brought on by the storm.

“(Zeta) moved through very quickly this morning,” Martin said. “It brought high winds with tree falls all over the place, blocking roads and falling on homes.”

Rowan County first responders had their hands full dealing with calls of wind-related damage, including downed power lines and tree limbs. Between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rowan County 911 received 47 tree down calls, 54 power line down calls and five calls about the storm damaging property, said Interim Chief Lonnie Owens.

The western part of the county near Cleveland seems to have taken the brunt of the storm’s damage, said Spencer Fire Department Chief Jeremi Carter.

“The Red Cross was notified of several trees on houses in the western part of the county today,” Carter said.

Along with wind damage, the Cleveland area also experienced one of the county’s larger power outages.

“There was a major power outage near Cleveland. I don’t know what caused it, but I know a few people who live that way and one of our tower sites is on a generator up there,” Owens said.

There were over 6,500 Duke Energy customers in Rowan County without power around midday, according to Duke Energy’s power outages map. The state of North Carolina reported almost 8,000 total outages in Rowan County at one point. 

In total, over 450,000 power outages were reported in North Carolina. Forsyth and Guilford were the hardest hit counties, with Forsyth reporting over 60,000 outages and Guilford reporting nearly 45,000.

The falling tree did not injure the homeowner or puncture the home’s roof. It did bring down a powerline. Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post

A homeowner on South Ellis Street thought a loud truck was revving its engine outside when a powerful gust sent a large tree tumbling down on top of her house around 9 a.m. Some of the tree’s branches also fell on her neighbors’ house and were resting on a downed power line. It was fortunate that the tree didn’t puncture either of the houses’ roofs, said the property landlord Kay Wilson.

“I’m glad the tree didn’t fall straight back,” Wilson said. “ If the house had taken a direct hit it would’ve hurt her.”

Wilson said that the homeowner was in good spirits and that neighbors and family members were checking on her throughout the day.

Overall, local emergency officials were happy to report that no serious injuries occurred due to the storm.

“This one we lived through pretty well,” Owens said.

Comments

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide