Thunderstorms wreak havoc in southwestern Salisbury

Published 1:57 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

SALISBURY — More than 100 Duke Energy customers lost power in Salisbury during a heavy thunderstorm shortly before noon Monday.

A tree came down during the storm near the intersection of Cedar Drive and Ashley Drive, in a community just off Airport Road.

According to Locke Township Fire Chief Rusty Alexander, the call reporting the downed power line came in at 11:46 a.m.

By 12:30 p.m., a crew from Duke Energy arrived on the scene to address the outage. According to the Duke Energy Outage map, 127 total customers lost service as a result of the downed line. The map showed restoration was estimated by 4:30 p.m., but only 17 customers were reportedly out of service by 1:45 p.m.

While departments were responding to the power line call, another emergency call came in for a fire in the same vicinity.

At 11:52 a.m., Locke Township Fire personnel were dispatched to 110 Overbrook Road in response to a report of a structure fire.

Two storage buildings near the tree line behind Wendy Wallace’s house were on fire. Wallace said she arrived home and saw “flames as high as the trees” coming from her backyard.

Alexander explained that it appeared a tree was struck by lightning, igniting the tree, and the fire quickly spread to the two storage spaces.

Salisbury Fire Department assisted in the response. China Grove and Bostian Heights fire departments also responded to the call but were able to stand down once the fire was under control.

The interactive National Weather Service map tracked the thunderstorm into Rowan County from the southwest around 11:15 a.m. The storm reportedly moved through the county at 25 mph, with winds in excess of 40 mph and the possibility of pea-sized hail.