Fast moving severe storms prompt warnings, power outages, reports of damage

Wind damage at ECU

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Severe thunderstorms moved across eastern Carolina early Wednesday afternoon, causing power outages and reports of damage.

A second batch of strong to severe storms may affect the area late in the afternoon and into the evening.

Watch Live: WNCT 9 First Alert Weather is on the air covering this dangerous weather.

Several tornado warnings were issued throughout the afternoon. Get the latest alerts here.

Damage was reported across eastern Carolina, including downed trees and powerlines:

  • Duplin: Powerlines down. Large tree down near Harrell.
  • Edgecombe: 18 wheeler off the road. Driver said there was low visibility and truck was stopped in front of him with no lights on and he had to swerve to avoid him. There was heavy rain at the time.
  • Greene: Large tree branches down in Jason along HWY 903
  • Pitt: Powerlines are down on NC 903 near Winterville. Powerlines down in Ayden. Porch blown off a mobile home on Reedy Branch Road in Winterville. Half dollar sized hail in Greenville.
  • Wayne: Report of mobile home destroyed in the Indian Springs area. There were no injuries, but 3 children and their mother were home at the time. Red Cross is assisting.
    Tree down near the Wayne/Duplin county border.8 power poles down in Mt. Olive to Seven Springs. Report of 2 turkey houses damaged in S. Wayne County.

Thousands across the east were left without power. As the storm passed over the area, thousands in Duplin, Onslow, Lenoir and Tyrell counties lost power.

9 On Your Side checked in with local hospitals to see how they prepared ahead of severe weather. Vidant Medical Center said operations remain business as usual as they had contingency plans to quickly move patients, families and employees at any Vidant facility if the conditions require it.

The weather also impacted schools throughout the east, causing many to close early. School leaders said the wind created a safety issue for school buses. Many of them also cross bridges which make wind even more of a factor.

People at Pitt County’s Salvation Army were prepared for the severe weather threat.

Tuesday night, crews in our area were told to go on standby. Standby means the canteen, their version of a food truck needs to be stocked with enough food for seven days.

The Beaufort County Animal Shelter is also prepared for any severe weather.

The county animal services chief said their facility has a back-up generator ready to go. He said the facility will only turn into an emergency animal shelter when the county opens its human shelter.

During this First Alert Weather day, 9 is On Your Side helping you prepare for what’s next.

Some important things you can do ahead of time:

  • • Make sure you have an emergency plan.
  • • Know how everyone in your family will get warnings and alerts.
  • • Make sure you have a designated safe meeting place.
  • • You should also have access to batteries, water and prescriptions medications.

In a tornado warning:

  • • If you’re in a home, school, hospital or office building… Seek shelter in a basement, hallway or closet.
  • • Cover your head and eyes.
  • • If you’re outside, try to get inside as quickly as possible. If you can’t, find a low-lying area like a ditch.
  • • If you’re driving, pull over, but leave the car running so the air bags work.
  • • Don’t ever climb under an embankment or overpass.

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