Storm cleanup continues as more severe weather to hit south and east of the Triangle

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— Residents across central North Carolina were working to clean up damage from Tuesday’s strong thunderstorms on Wednesday, even as thunderstorms lingered in the area in the morning.

Storms with lightning and with winds gusting up to 40 mph were moving through Fayetteville around 4:30 a.m.

Steady rain is expected in central and eastern parts of the state until 9 or 10 a.m., meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Duke Energy crews were working in Nash County early Wednesday as power lines were down and traffic lights were out.

Numerous trees had fallen in Nashville, including one on a woman’s front yard.

“The clouds were all dark, and all of a sudden it just came pouring down, and the wind was blowing everything sideways,” Betsy Owens said.

“I have big, old trees in my yard, so my heart was kind of beating fast, too,” she continued.

The Nash County Fire Department said seven calls came in for assistance in nine minutes.

An Alexander County mother said she grabbed her sleeping child right before a tree fell on her home.

“As soon as I picked him up, windows shattered, the dining room ceiling fell in, and I knew that something was wrong,” she said. “I think the foundation has shifted because now the house is flooding as well.”

In Wake Forest, lightning struck a tree, which then fell on a family’s home.

Lightning then struck their house.

“It sounded like a semi-truck hit our house,” Ashley Ash said.

She and her husband, Derek, ran outside with their 3-year-old and 6-month-old to get away from the smoldering roof.

“Boom, it hit,” Derek Ash said. “You could smell the lightning. You could feel it – the lights over our island were shaking back and forth.”

Moore County had 3 inches of rain fall, and Nash County had around 2 inches. About an inch of rain fell in the Triangle.

Wednesday sees more storms, but less severe

Much of central North Carolina was under a level 2 risk for severe weather on Tuesday. For Wednesday, southern and eastern counties are under a level 1 risk.

Storms are expected to move through Johnston, Sampson, Wayne, Wilson counties, including Rocky Mount and into Roanoke Rapids, Gardner said.

Damaging winds, small hail and heavy rain are possible in those areas.

The Triangle will see some scattered storms, but it’s not under a severe weather threat.

Temperatures will reach the upper 80s by lunchtime and climb into the 90s later in the afternoon.

The heat index will feel like 100 degrees or warmer because of the humidity, Gardner said.