Residents reflect on intense storm that slammed Raleigh, causing major damage

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Sunday afternoon a quick but intense storm left lots of damage around Raleigh.

Across our area, trees and power lines were down, homes damaged and thousands were without power.

On Byrd Street, two homes had trees coming through the front of them.

A woman who lives at one of the houses told CBS 17 she was inside, when within seconds, a tree came through her bedrooms.

Other homeowners in the neighborhood said they’re grateful that what came through Sunday afternoon didn’t last any longer than it did.

“I feel bad for these people,” Julian Williamson said.

Williamson was outside on his porch at his White Oak Road home when the storm made its way through Raleigh.

“It brought back memories of Hurricane Fran in 1996,” Williamson said. “The wind, just for like 20 seconds, was like a downdraft. I didn’t know what it was. It was like something I’d never seen before.”

Most of the power outages and damage was in an area north and east of downtown and south of Interstate 440.

Along Wake Forest Road, a tree could be seen hovering over a house. Parts of it were held up by power lines.

For Williamson, he feels lucky.

“You look at your trees a little bit differently, the ones near your house, and think are they ever going to come down,” he said. “I’ve got some that are pretty big that are near my house, and I think about that a lot.”

The same goes for Charlie Yowell, who also lives along Byrd Street.

Moving forward he’s not taking any other storms lightly.

“[It] makes you very grateful for what we have,” Yowell said. “We have a 1-year-old now, so definitely taking that more into account.”

A homeowner named John who lives on White Oak Road said he lost a tree during the storm. He said this is all after losing two other trees during Hurricane Florence.

“It’s a big mess,” said John, who did not want to provide his last name. “When the wind hit the house, it was forceful.”

Now, some living around the neighborhoods will be picking up the pieces, thankful it wasn’t any worse.

“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,” said Freeman.

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

“I’ve been taking care of this property for over 25 years and 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.”

“Mother Nature can be very intense,” Yowell said.

As of Monday morning, no injuries had been reported from this storm.

There were around 590 customers without power in Wake County as of 11:30 a.m. Monday.

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