First Posted: 1/15/2009
FAIRMONT -- Powerful winds destroyed two homes, knocked down trees and left an undetermined number of families in southeastern Robeson County temporarily without power Friday night. Officials with Lumbee River Electric Membership Corp. and CP&L did not return phone calls by deadline this morning.
County Emergency Management Director David Carter said a strong straight-line wind destroyed two mobile homes on Stone Road between Fairmont and McDonald and knocked out power to a number of homes. Several other homes on nearby Price Road were damaged.
The storm caused no injuries, Carter said.
Authorities are not classifying the brief storm, which hit the county around 7:30 p.m., as a tornado. The strong winds were intermingled with lightning and heavy rains.
“One of the destroyed mobile homes was occupied and the family had to be relocated,” Carter said. “The storm caused a lot of downed trees and power lines and damaged roofs. We're still working to get the mess cleaned up.”
The Robeson County Chapter of the American Red Cross put up the displaced family at the Howard Johnson motel in Lumberton.
Matthew Chavis, Red Cross executive director, said the charity normally provides shelter for three days, but in a natural disaster the Red Cross will provide shelter as long as possible.
“We will help them up to our limitations,” Chavis said. “Then we will refer them to other organization that can help. There were other families that had extensive damage but not enough that they had to leave their homes.”
A spokesman for the National Weather Service in Wilmington said the winds that hit the Fairmont area were reported to be at least 60 mph.
He said it was consistent with weather damage in the Wilmington weather service reporting area. Golf ball-sized hail damaged property in Bladen County Friday, while at least 17 homes and four cars were damaged by fallen trees in the Wilmington area.