Severe storms bring more than just rain, flooding

Jul. 14, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

RUTHERFORDTON — Damaging winds, fallen trees and downed power lines were present throughout Rutherford County as two severe thunderstorms ripped through the area Friday evening, leaving hundreds of residents without power.

Several reports of damaging winds and trees falling on power lines were received shortly after the first severe thunderstorm started around 4 p.m., largely impacting the towns of Forest City, Spindale, Rutherfordton and Bostic.

As firefighters, utility workers and electric company employees worked to remove downed trees and power lines and restore power, the second severe thunderstorm arrived at 10:55 p.m., affecting the areas of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock.

According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts were in excess of 60 mph during both thunderstorms.

On Saturday morning, workers with Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Pike Electric cleared downed trees and power lines at several locations, including the intersection of Rosey Lane and U.S. Highway 221 in Rutherfordton.

As of 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Duke Energy reported 1,367 total power outages in its service territory spanning across Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Rutherford County recorded the highest number of outages with 466.

According to Pike Electric employees, it can take as long as five or six hours to restore power as a result of downed power lines.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecasted to continue throughout the week.