The Cape Fear region of North Carolina was targeted by Mother Nature with three straight days of severe storms this week, as heavy rain, wind and even a couple of tornadoes swept through between Monday and Wednesday.
Prior to visiting the Carolinas, the intense storm system pummeled Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia. At least 15 people were killed along the storm’s path.
On Monday evening, the storm arrived in Bladen County and folks were scrambling to take shelter as a tornado warning was issued at about 8:15 p.m.
The National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a possible tornado in the vicinity of the Elizabethtown-White Lake area, but at about 8:30 p.m. the warning was lifted.
There was only one incident reported to county officials during the evening.
“The only issue that is confirmed is a barn fire on Ruskin Road (near White Oak),” Bladen County Emergency Management Director Bradley Kinlaw said. “I’m not sure of the cause.”
He added that, with Monday’s active weather, “there were several reports of funnel clouds but none were confirmed that I know about.”
According to the National Weather Service, dime- to quarter-sized hail was reported at about 6 p.m. and lasting about 30 minutes. The hail was reported to occur near Dublin and in the vicinity of Elizabethtown, according to the National Weather Service Office.
Kinlaw said, “I’m sure there was some damage from the hail, but I have not been made aware of it (as of Tuesday morning).”
Tuesday proved to be the most damaging for the region, as numerous tornadoes were sighted. One touched down near Stedman in Cumberland County and caused widespread damage; several others were reported in Sampson County, including in Salemburg, Autryville and Roseboro — none of which reportedly touched down.
The storm cells also pounded Bladen, as wind, rain and hail made another visit. Tornado warnings were posted throughout the latter part of the day.
On Wednesday, the skies opened opened up over Bladen County at about 1 p.m. and heavy rain continued for the next couple of hours before moving off the the northeast.
Now, Bladen County residents living near the Cape Fear River and its tributaries are awaiting the aftermath in the form of flooding. The region was put under a flash flood warning on Wednesday.
After a good chance for rain on Thursday and slight chance on Friday, the weekend weather is expected to be sunnier and warmer. The next chance for rain won’t come until Wednesday.