Rounds of severe thunderstorms dumped hail and heavy downpours on Charlotte on Wednesday night, as bands of unsettled weather continued to race across the region.
A State Highway Patrol trooper was hospitalized with leg injuries after a car hit him as he crossed a Catawba County road earlier in the evening to investigate another wreck, Observer news partner WBTV reported.
At 8:20 p.m., Charlotte firefighters were rescuing four cows after a barn collapsed in the 13600 block of Brown Grier Road in Steele Creek.
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The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop at Charlotte’s airport at about 6:30 p.m. The ground stop was lifted two hours later, with departure delays running 46 to 60 minutes, the airport tweeted.
Earlier Wednesday evening, damaging winds were reported in eastern Lincoln County at Lake Norman. Trees were down in Hickory, and 2-inch-diameter hail fell in Statesville.
Tornado warnings were issued for northeastern Catawba, southeastern Alexander and central Iredell counties late Wednesday afternoon, including the Interstate 40 corridor and Statesville, but none struck the region.
Severe storms were reported at 7 p.m. everywhere from Gaston County to Cabarrus and Rowan counties. In Cherryville in Gaston County, a tree fell on a home, trapping people inside. Whether anyone was injured was not immediately known.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., storms rumbled east from Lake Wylie into south Charlotte and uptown with lightning and hail. More storms moved in at 8 p.m., with 50 to 60 mph winds reported. A large tree fell on a house in Myers Park.
No one was hurt when a house was struck by lightning on Magnolia Avenue in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood on Wednesday night
The entire Charlotte region remained under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m.
Charlotte’s weather is going to be in upheaval over the next three days. Highs near 80 Wednesday gave way to high winds and severe storms late into the night. A 20-degree temperature drop is predicted between Wednesday and Thursday’s highs, and a freeze is expected early Saturday..
Forecasters are blaming it all on a “vigorous cold front” that swept through the area about 7 p.m. Wednesday. The front was preceded by a line of showers and severe thunderstorms.
Starting Thursday, temperatures will struggle to reach 60 during the day and lows will be in the 30s each night, with possible freezing-frost early morning Saturday. The high Saturday will be 57.
The high possibility of severe weather forced High Country school districts in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties to announce they were dismissing early Wednesday.
Shortly after noon, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced the temporary closure of all park roads at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday due to a predicted high wind storm. Park officials said they were expecting the storm to be intense and fast moving, with heavy winds, rain, lightning and hail.
Staff Writer Katherine Peralta contributed.