Fast-moving storm leaves Durham ragged
A Thursday afternoon storm swept through Durham like a whirlwind, downing trees, causing power failures and prompting the sheriff to call in extra deputies.
Power lines fell throughout the city and county, and at least hundreds of homes lost electricity, according to reports.
Durham city fire officials said they received multiple fire reports, but they turned out to be sparks from fallen power lines.
The northern Durham communities of Bahama and Rougemont were hit “extremely hard,” according to Maj. Paul Martin of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.
Martin described conditions as dangerous, with trees on top of power lines and multiple alarms activated due to wind and power failures. He said deputies were checking properties in power outage areas for possible thefts.
All available deputies were called in to work, and the outgoing patrol shift was held over.
Traffic signals were out in parts of the city and county.
Martin said stoplights were out from the Person County line on Roxboro Road to the lights at Roxboro and Latta roads.
Downed trees were entangled in power lines at 3308 Bahama Road and at Ball and Quail Roost roads in northern Durham. Trees also were down on Mason Road, Red Mountain Road and Old Oxford Road between Red Mill Road and Tecknika Parkway, and on Stagecoach and Farrington roads. A tree fell on power lines at 8306 Polaris in northern Durham, and a tree was suspended on a guardrail at 2352 Ellis Road.
Martin said most of Bahama and Rougemont lost power, and Bahama Road was shut down from Roxboro Road past Lake Michie.
Bahama firefighters did “an outstanding job” clearing roadways, Martin said, and deputies used saws to remove small trees not entangled in power lines, and placed detour signs to ensure the safety of drivers.
Later in the evening, the situation in northern Durham had stabilized, but numerous trees remained down and power was being restored slowly, Martin said.
In the city, police said a tree hit houses on Colorado Avenue and Burnwood Court. A tree fell on a power line on Pineview Road.
Other incidents include:
- A tree across the road at Junction and Ross roads and on West Club Boulevard at Maryland Avenue.
- A large tree down in the 2200 block of Arrington Avenue, and a tree on a power line in the 1300 block of Hudson Avenue.
- Lines down on Edmund Street.
- Trees in the road on Erwin Road near Sage.
- A large tree down at Ellis and Ed Cook roads.
- A large tree fell at Linden Oaks, and a pole snapped in half on Rugby Road.
In Chapel Hill, police responded to fallen trees blocking roadways in and around downtown. Areas affected included East Rosemary Street and Pickard Lane, the 300 and 600 blocks of East Franklin Street, the 2100 block of North Lakeshore, West Cameron and Roberson Street, Morgan Creek and Fordham Boulevard and at Davie Circle.