National Weather Service confirms tornado hit Rowan County school

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Severe storms left a trail of damage across North Carolina on Thursday, including significant impacts at a Rowan County school.

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A confirmed EF-1 tornado left a trail of damage in Rowan County on Thursday, including ripping the roof off a building at an elementary school. 

Mount Ulla Elementary School is closed Friday due to damage caused by Thursday’s severe weather outbreak. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado with approximately 100 mph winds hit the area during Thursday’s storms. The tornado left a 40-yard path of destruction on the school’s campus, including damage to a baseball field and knocking down power lines. 

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A line of storms caused significant damage across the region, with a confirmed tornado in Wilkes County. Storms also impacted parts of Alexander, Catawba, Iredell, Mecklenburg and Rowan counties Thursday evening. 

Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich shared video of a downburst in Harrisburg that ripped limbs from a massive tree one by one. Panovich said wind speeds were an estimated 65-70 mph in parts of Cabarrus County. 

Downburst Harrisburg

Wild doorbell video from Harrisburg of the downburst and wind damage there. Winds estimated near 65-70 mph there. Via John Gorlinsky. #cltwx #ncwx #wcnc

Posted by Brad Panovich Meteorologist on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Multiple agencies worked through the night in Harrisburg to clear a tree that fell onto a house during the storms. Two people were inside the house at the time, according to a neighbor who saw the whole situation unfold. 

“That’s a big tree,” the man said. “They busted out this window beside the door, and they got inside. Then they came back out with saws and sawed out the side of the house, making a door where the window was and carried them out of the house.”

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