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North Carolina storm damage limited, officials say

By the CNN Wire Staff
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'It was moving very fast'
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: No fatalities reported, injuries were minor after severe weather Sunday
  • Tornado touched down Monday morning in Oakland Park, Florida; no injuries reported
  • Eight unconfirmed tornadoes spotted along North Carolina's Interstate 85 corridor
  • Roofing ripped off building west of Charlotte; 3 hurt, homes damaged outside Lexington

(CNN) -- Severe storms hammered North Carolina on Sunday evening, but no fatalities had been reported as of Monday morning, and injuries were minor, officials said.

Residents reported as many as eight tornadoes touching down -- overturning mobile homes, ripping out trees and plunging neighborhoods into darkness.

Survey crews were meeting with local officials throughout the state to get a clearer picture of the storm damage, said Ernie Seneca, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

There were reports of damaged houses and downed trees, but injuries were limited, he said.

"It looks like people heeded the warning to seek shelter when the storm came," he said.

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"It really did sound like a train. It was pure noise," said William Schlaeppi, who lives on a farm in High Point, North Carolina, where the National Weather Service reported damage to at least 20 homes. "I literally watched my fields disappear in front of me under a wall of water -- circular, spinning water."

A broad band of severe thunderstorms Sunday brought heavy rain and hail, and prompted tornado warnings from Florida to Virginia, the weather service said.

A tornado touched down in Oakland Park, Florida, just north of Fort Lauderdale, between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Monday, said Tyrone Mosley, a weather service specialist. There was debris but no immediate report of injuries, he said.

In North Carolina, at least eight unconfirmed tornadoes were spotted along the Interstate 85 corridor between Charlotte and Greensboro on Sunday evening.

Metal roofing was ripped off an industrial building in Belmont, west of Charlotte, littering nearby trees with clumps of yellow insulation.

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Multiple mobile homes were overturned in Linwood, outside of Lexington, and at least three people were reported injured.

And what looked like a huge funnel cloud loomed over High Point, near Greensboro.

"It's been a very active evening for most of central North Carolina," said Julia Jarema, spokeswoman for the state's Division of Emergency Management.

The storms caused power outages throughout the state, but because of the multiple bands of storms, "things are changing so rapidly, we haven't been able to confirm numbers," Jarema said Sunday night.

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Local law enforcement reported another tornado north of Greensboro, the weather service said.

The storm also produced 70-mph winds and hail as large as baseballs.

Late Sunday, High Point emergency management officials were going house to house to check for injuries.

Schlaeppi said he spent much of the night in his darkened house, going out with his neighbors to clear downed trees whenever the rain let up.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras contributed to this report.

 
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