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Raleigh, N.C. — A line of severe weather that is marching through central North Carolina is bringing gusty winds, torrential downpours, lightning and prompting the delay of several July 4th festivities.
4:03 p.m.: A flood advisory is in effect for Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Richmond counties until 4:45 p.m.
3:33 p.m.: The risk of stormy weather has delayed the opening of the gates at Koka Booth, where fireworks and other festivities were planned to celebrate the July 4th holiday. Gates were suppose to open at 3. WRAL anchor Ken Smith is set to emcee the event.
3:30 p.m.: The National Weather Service has confirmed that a lightning strike injured as many as 12 people in South Carolina and sent at least three people to a local hospital for treatment. The incident occurred near a river in the area of Lawshe Plantation off Indian Hut Road, according to WMBF-TV. The location is a sand bar and beach area well known to locals, according to reports.
3:13 p.m.: Officials at Fort Bragg ordered an evacuation of the parade field as they were getting ready for July 4th holiday and asked everyone to return to their cars until an all-clear was given because of the risk of severe weather.
2:02 p.m.: Another Durham resident blamed a lightning strike for starting a fire at his apartment complex on Presidents Drive. The resident said the fire destroyed a portion of the apartment complex’s roof and he thinks the home suffered a huge amount of damage as a result.
1:50 p.m.: Officials are trying to determine if strong winds played a role in toppling a tree that fell down on or near a home in Durham and possibly took down some power lines, authorities said. The tree collapsed in a neighborhood in the 200 block of Dacian Avenue shortly before 2 p.m., according to Durham Fire Chief Christopher Iannuzzi. It was not clear if anyone was injured or how much damage the falling tree did. According to Duke Energy, there were about 2,500 customers without power in Durham around the time the tree fell.
WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said thunderstorms are erupting across the Triangle with lots of lightning and winds of up to 50 miles per hour are part of a cell that is moving through Durham County.
“With the storm not moving, we are seeing some very heavy rainfall out of this,” Maze said.
Storms are expected to develop around 3 p.m.
Damaging winds, frequent lightning and heavy rain is possible throughout central North Carolina, Wilmoth said.
“Lightning is going to be very frequent with any storms that develop today, so be very careful,” Wilmoth said. “Make sure you take shelter if you hear thunder.”
The storms will be scattered, and they’re expected to linger throughout the evening.
Fireworks displays throughout the area could be delayed if storms continue.
Temperatures will reach 93 degrees, but the heat index could reach 100 or 105 degrees.
Stormy forecasts continue through Monday and will begin to cool things down.