Tornado Kills Moore Man
A man killed when tornadoes ripped through the Greensboro area late Thursday night was from Jackson Springs.
Authorities believe Donald Ray Needham, 51, was asleep in his truck on West Market Street when the storm flipped it over, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
Authorities said three others suffered injuries that were not life-threatening during the storm.
The storms followed a track through parts of Davie, Forsyth and Guilford counties.
Emergency workers said it could have been a lot worse.
"We really kind of dodged a bullet," Greensboro Assistant Fire Chief David Douglas said at a news conference Friday. "It came in late in the evening when most of you had already gone home. It could have been much worse than it was."
In Guilford County, the storm damaged about 25 businesses and 30 homes, the News & Record reported. It caused millions of dollars in damage to property along the Sandy Ridge Road-Interstate 40 area.
Authorities quarantined a commercial and industrial area around U.S. 421, Interstate 40, N.C. 68 and Sandy Ridge Road. Some property owners were allowed to return to the area about 11 a.m. Friday to assess damage to their property. Others were not expected to be allowed to return until Saturday after power was restored.
West Market Street from Landmark Drive to N.C. 68 and Little Santee Road remained closed to traffic Friday.
Authorities said the tornado that killed Needham touched down just after 11:30 p.m. near Sandy Ridge Road and Interstate 40 in Greensboro. Two of the nonfatal injuries came from vehicles overturning on the Interstate.
"It's a tragedy that we had any life lost," Alan Perdue, Guilford County's emergency services director, told the News and Record, "but considering the magnitude of the storm ... we were very fortunate."
The National Weather Service said the twister generated winds estimated at 130 mph and covered a path three miles long and as much as a quarter-mile wide.
High winds damaged at least seven planes at Piedmont Triad International Airport and knocked down trees that temporarily blocked access to the terminal.
The storm heavily damaged the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Sandy Ridge Road.
More gusts blew at least three tractor-trailers off I-40
The storm also damaged homes, cars and churches.
In addition to strong winds, the storms brought heavy rains and hail to many areas. Thousands of residents in that region lost power as trees fell onto power lines or poles snapped because of the force of the wind.
Contact David Sinclair at 693-2462 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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