GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – A state of emergency was issued for Cherryville after strong storms ripped through the community Tuesday night, downing trees and powerlines.
Residents were asked by city officials to stay inside Wednesday as cleanup crews and authorities assess the damage.
Hundreds of customers were without power Wednesday afternoon, but as of 6 p.m., electricity had been restored, according to the N.C. Public Safety Department website.
Gaston County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Services officials are working to clean up the downed trees. The American Red Cross has also sent disaster-trained members to help families who need it.
“As our teams work with families impacted, we are certainly thinking about them and want to provide all the support we can,” Allison Taylor, regional CEO of American Red Cross Greater Carolinas, said in a press release.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday evening described a supercell thunderstorm moving into the area with winds up to 85 mph but found no signs of a tornado.
Cherryville received about 0.64 inches of rain, Spectrum News 1 meteorologists said.
Schools were closed Wednesday, and Gaston County Schools said Cherryville Elementary School, W. Blaine Beam Intermediate School, John Chavis Middle School and Cherryville High School would remain closed Thursday as storm cleanup continues.
Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon and said the devastation reminded him of when the remnants of Hurricane Hugo hit the area in 1989.
Officials said that one person was hurt from a falling tree, but they suffered minor injuries and are already out of the hospital. The majority of damage from the storm is from fallen trees, with about 55 structures damaged. Thirty residents were displaced by the storm, and the Red Cross is helping to house four people. Shady Grove Baptist Church has opened its doors as a makeshift shelter to those in need.
The Cherryville Police Department is also feeding people who need a hot meal with food donated by a church, officials said.
To report damage or downed trees and powerlines, or if you need shelter, call the Cherryville Fire Department at 704-435-1730.