Raleigh cleans up after storm with winds up to 70 mph knocks down dozens of trees

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A pop-up storm caused severe damage in Raleigh’s Midtown and Five Points East areas, leaving trees on homes, limbs blocking roads and thousands without power.

Some residents, like Jason Peterson, said they’re lucky they’re not dealing with any damage following the storm.

“It’s really shocking for such an isolated, quick storm to see this amount of damage,” Peterson said. “I’m about a mile and a half in, and saw about four cars with trees on them, and tons of power lines and trees down.”

“We really didn’t know what it was. We didn’t know if it was just strong winds or if it was a tree coming up,” said Rob Brown.

Brown and Kristin Freeman had just made it back from a weekend trip to the beach when the storm hit.

A big tree was uprooted in Freeman’s yard and landed on Brown and Freeman’s cars.

“His was a near miss. It only got the tail light. On mine a piece of the sidewalk hit it. So, now we’re just waiting for the city to move all that stuff away from our cars,” described Freeman.

Carl Corry handles maintenance at the town homes on Bernard Street in the Five Points community.

“I’ve been taking care of this property for over 25 years,” Corry said “This is one of those things where I’ve been telling them for years that if something happens in this area all these big trees more than likely will go down, and that’s what we have now. A lot of big trees down.”

Monday, city crews and private companies were up and down streets cleaning after the storm.

Raleigh city officials told CBS 17, overnight, they responded to two dozen calls of trees down.

Dan Tucker with Carolina Grounds Care is helping clean up at a home on Byrd Street, after a large tree took out the right side of the house.

“It’s a lot of devastation right in here,” Tucker said. “She [the homeowner] was in the house videotaping the hard rain coming down, and all of a sudden, she’s seeing the tree starting to come crashing down on her house.”

CBS 17 Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein said this storm a microburst, and believes wind speeds could have been 60 to 70 miles per hour or more.

He said storms like this are a reminder for residents to subscribe to alerts and pay attention to your surroundings.

“With all the heat and humidity we had last week, these storms popping up fast, going away fast, but while they’re around, they were strong. Really tall cumulus clouds,” Hohenstein said.

For Peterson, he’s thankful not to have suffered any damage.

City officials told CBS 17 they’re expecting to have all streets open and passable later Monday.

Tucker said he expects to be helping with cleanup along Byrd Street for the next two days.

According to Raleigh officials, yard waste collection starts tomorrow. For more information about putting yard waste debris by the curb, click here.

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