High winds ripped through Lincoln County Sunday night causing widespread damage and knocking out power to some residents.
â€œThere should be widespread damage across the county,â€ said Bill Hoover, shift supervisor for Lincoln County Communications. â€œIt was from (N.C.) 16 to (N.C.) 18.â€
Officials estimated that wind gusts reached up to 55 mph.
The countyâ€™s 911 system was flooded with calls from residents reporting problems, Hoover said.
The total number of calls for the night wasnâ€™t available, but Hoover said that within an hour-and-a-half period there were 143.
â€œMost were trees and power lines and brush fires,â€ Hoover said.
There were no injuries resulting from the storm, he said.
A tree fell on a mobile home in the eastern end of the county, and trees fell on two vehicles in roadways. Crews responded to one wreck during the storm.
The countyâ€™s 15 fire departments responded to numerous brush fire calls as well as several structure fires, but the damage was minor in each case.
â€œThis was pretty much a fire service storm,â€ said Jeff Von Cannon, president of the Firefightersâ€™ Association.
The fire departments worked up until around midnight to survey and open all main roads by morning.
Some minor injuries to emergency workers occurred during the weather event, Von Cannon said.
Some city residents experienced power outages, officials said. The number of county residents affected was not available.
â€œWe had some scattered outages,â€ said Steve Peeler, director of Public Works and Utilities for the city. â€œMost everybody was back on in an hour.â€
He estimated that about 150 people lost power sometime during the night.
A tree fell and tore down power lines on Alexander Street, causing the longest outage, Peeler said.
â€œWe were fortunate,â€ Peeler said. â€œGood luck and proactive tree trimming pays off.â€
Von Cannon said itâ€™s important for residents to remember to use 911 for emergencies only.
Power outage notifications always tend to overwhelm the 911 communications center, which hamper the efforts of law enforcement, EMS, fire and rescue agencies, Von Cannon said.by Alice Smith