Several communities in western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina are cleaning up from severe storms that swept across the region on Monday afternoon, as National Weather Service crews investigate several possible tornado touchdowns.
At the Hickory Regional Airport, small planes were flipped over and hangars were crumpled, possibly by a tornado. The City of Hickory and Catawba County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning declared official states of emergency, due to damage caused by Monday’s severe weather.
Hickory officials said in a news release that multiple public facilities, residences, and private businesses will require substantial clean-up and repairs. The release said dangerous conditions remained on Tuesday, due to downed power lines and trees and debris in roadways.
The storms knocked out power to at least 98,000 homes and businesses. The Hickory Daily Record reported that the severe weather caused about 40,000 power outages in Burke, Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties. Duke Energy reported that power was still out for more than 69,000 customers as of early Tuesday afternoon.
More than 3.5 inches of rain fell was recorded in Asheville, and some roads were flooded in Asheville and Boone.
The storms closed two North Carolina state parks. At Chimney Rock State Park, crews dealt with damage that included a landslide. At Stone Mountain State Park in Alleghany and Wilkes counties, down trees prompted officials to close the park.
In South Carolina, tractor trailers were flipped, homes damaged and trees downed by a possible tornado in the Spartanburg area. Spartanburg Regional Hospital said it treated eight people for minor injuries.