CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Severe storms on Sunday blew down trees, caused airport delays and knocked out power to tens of thousands in North and South Carolina.
About 75,000 homes and businesses were without power in the late afternoon. Duke Energy said about 43,000 customers lacked power in North Carolina, and another 9,000 in South Carolina. South Carolina Electric and Gas Company reported 23,000 customers without power in South Carolina.
The airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, said on Twitter Sunday that severe weather caused a ground stop and forced air traffic controllers to leave their tower. The ground stop was later lifted.
Officials in Lexington County, South Carolina, posted photos online of a house that had been damaged, while the National Weather Service received a report of the roof being blown off an agricultural building elsewhere in the county. The sheriff’s office said downed trees were blocking roads in multiple locations. County officials said there were no reports of injuries.
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The Columbia, South Carolina, police department said on Twitter that multiple traffic lights were malfunctioning because of the severe weather.
The National Weather Service in Columbia said that the worst threat had passed that area by late afternoon as the storms move to the north and east. Earlier in the day, the meteorologists reported a wind gust of 74 mph (120 kph) in Columbia.
However, tornado watches were expected to remain in effect for the northeastern corner of South Carolina and a swath of central North Carolina until late Sunday night.
Television stations in Charlotte were posting images of large hail on Twitter, and the National Weather Service received reports of golf ball-sized hail in several counties. The Charlotte Fire Department was also “responding to numerous storm-related calls for trees and lines down.”