Storm system rips through Southeast

By Hayley Burgess
Managing Editor

Photo contributed by Brandi Strickland
Golf ball sized hail heavily damaged student vehicle.

A storm system bringing tornadoes, hail and flash floods ripped through six states beginning in Oklahoma on April 14 before reaching North Carolina April 16. It finally hit Virginia before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean April 16.

According to an article in Courier Post, more than 240 tornadoes were reported from the system and approximately 62 tornadoes were reported in North Carolina.

In Pembroke, N.C., the damage consisted of power outages, some downed trees, broken car windows and several broken skylight windows in Walmart.

The surrounding towns were hit harder with more damage. North Carolina Emergency Management reported 23 people died in the state.

"It wasn't that bad where I live until the late afternoon and that's when the sky just went dark.

It was crazy. The wind was blowing hard all day but it picked up and I could hear branches falling. Fortunately, we didn't have as much damage at my house like some of the other areas of Fayetteville had," said UNCP graduate Jon Baez, who lives in Fayetteville.

In Lumberton, golf-ball size hail damaged cars and windows and had power outages along with car wrecks, according to the Robesonian.

Senior Brandi Strickland lives in Lumberton and had damage done to her car.

"I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Golf ball size hail hitting my car and the house. It felt as if a tornado was on top of the roof.

After seeing the damage that was done to my car, I was speechless knowing there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. My feelings were hurt, but I knew that things could of been a whole lot worse.

Cars can be replaced, but we as humans cannot and I thank God for still being alive," Strickland said.

At Shaw University

In Raleigh, due to the damage from the storm, the rest of the classes at Shaw University for the semester have been suspended.

According to a letter from the President of Shaw University on their website, Shaw University was officially closed April 17 at noon but commencement will be held as planned May 7.

Despite the weather, the Red Springs Street Festival still went on.