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home : news : news August 15, 2018

10/9/2017 9:37:00 AM
Tornadoes, Power Outages, One Fatality Blamed On Nate
Firefighter killed while removing debris from road in Burke County

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

Power was out early Monday in about half the city of Lincolnton.  A tree was downed by the wind near the Marcia Cloninger Rail Trail and a transformer blew causing two of the four main circuits in the city to be affected.  The storm, about 8 PM Sunday, left many in the dark overnight, and crews had to turn off the rest of the two circuits Monday morning to do repairs.  City Public Works Director Steve Peeler told the Lincoln Herald he can't be sure when electricity will be fully restored--but said it would likely be well into Monday afternoon.

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One fatality related to the remnants of Hurricane Nate was reported early Monday (Oct. 9th) in Burke County.  A firefighter, responding with others to a tree blocking a roadway, was struck and killed by a vehicle.  

One other man was injured during Sunday's storms in Burke County but there were no other deaths reported.  In Caldwell County, strong winds blew the steeple off  Refuge Missionary Baptist Church on Mt. Herman Road in Hudson. A tractor-trailer overturned in the parking lot of the Burger King on US 321 at Mt. Herman Road.  Power lines were downed and trees blocked many roads.  Caldwell County Schools delayed their opening Monday morning for two hours. The Red Cross opened a shelter at South Caldwell High School.

In the tragic Burke County incident, firefighters from the Triple Community Fire Department were dispatched at 11:53 PM Sunday to a tree blocking the eastbound and part of the westbound lanes of Highway 70 east near the Drexel intersection. They were in the process of clearing the roadway just after midnight when a vehicle traveling eastbound on Hwy 70 struck one of the firefighters. 40-year-old Jason Keith Hensley was killed instantly.

The storms that hit areas from the upstate of South Carolina through Cleveland, Burke and Caldwell counties were part of the same system that was Hurricane Nate. While the main remnants of the tropical depression moved far to the west of our area, the multiple tornadoes were a part of the easternmost reaches of the storm.  For Lincoln, Gaston and Catawba counties, the storm mostly produced only some much needed rain.

There were no other deaths reported but damage was extensive in some areas--especially Caldwell County.  Several mobile homes were also damaged in Burke County.  One of the tornadoes that was spotted Sunday was near Polkville in Cleveland County, but damage there was only slight. No tornado was seen at the Cleveland County Fair, but a severe thunderstorm caused the fair to ask those attending to evacuate.  

More rain is possible Monday and Tuesday when the National Weather Service pegs the overall likelihood at 60%.  There may be some thunderstorms.  The weather will dry out as the week progresses and temperatures may turn a little cooler later in the week.

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