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Tornado went through Gaston, Lincoln counties Friday, weather service confirms

Orange County home damaged in afternoon storms

A house on Old 86 just south of I-40 near Hillsborough, NC was destroyed by a storm on Friday afternoon, April 19, 2019. The house was unoccupied and no injuries have been reported.
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A house on Old 86 just south of I-40 near Hillsborough, NC was destroyed by a storm on Friday afternoon, April 19, 2019. The house was unoccupied and no injuries have been reported.

Crews from the National Weather Service determined that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Gaston County shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Friday and traveled northeast into Lincoln County before lifting north of Lincolnton.

EF-0 is the lowest ranking on the Enhanced Fujita scale of tornado intensity, and it refers to a tornado that has caused light damage.

The NWS also sent crews to Catawba and Alexander counties in North Carolina, along with another in Union, South Carolina. One crew confirmed that an EF-1 tornado — a stronger tornado than the one in Gaston and Lincoln counties — touched down in Alexander County on Friday afternoon.

A tornado watch was extended across the region through 8 p.m. Friday night. Tornado warnings were issued earlier in the day for Alexander, Catawba, Iredell and Lincoln counties in NC and Chester and York counties in SC.

The storms that rolled through the area left behind plenty of damage, including damage to homes and buildings, downed trees and power outages.

A tree came down in downtown Lincolnton on Church Street. Neighbors said everyone was okay, but the tree crushed a few cars, a shed and a mailbox.

A tree came down on Gilbert Street right off of Lasalle Street in Charlotte.

A neighbor said no one lives in the home where the tree fell. Power workers said about 10 to 12 homes were without power, and they were waiting for tree clearing crews to come out before they could begin working on downed lines.

On Brooklyn Avenue in Lancaster, SC, the facade for a storage building for a non-profit called Jackie’s Place collapsed. A man who was inside gathering clothes at the time of the collapse was okay.

In Monroe, WBTV’s Ben Williamson found “some crazy damage” after a family’s shed collapsed and big trees fell off Highway 601.

Lori Keziah’s Monroe home suffered severe damage in the storms.

“We were just sitting and all the sudden, the rain started and it was game on. Blowing everywhere. It was shocking the fact that I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t hear anything but rain and massive wind,” Keziah said.

A silo was blown over at a home along Highway 601 in Monroe.

In Lincoln County, Spencer Pendleton was all smiles, even though his Jeep was crushed by a tree.

The incident happened on Laurel Street in downtown Lincolnton. Pendleton and his family are thankful everyone is okay. They watched the tree fall from the house.

A large tree came down in Lincolnton on Main Street near Oak Street. A nearby business owner said wind gusts were extreme and it was “just pouring.”

Several trees came down in Lincolnton, including one on Massapoag Road, where the homeowner says the tree crushed a car and flattened it. No injuries were reported.

Several roads across the area were closed due to the damage. The York County Sheriff’s Office had to shut down Greenleaf Road in Clover after power lines and utility poles came down because of the storm.

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