Storm slams Como

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

COMO – Saturday started well, with clear skies and warm temps, but it sure didn’t end that way.

A severe thunderstorm rolled across northern Hertford County after 4 p.m., causing damage, to include hail in the Como area.

Hertford County Emergency Management Director Chris Smith said the storm was accompanied by strong winds, which caused some damage to Buckhorn Baptist Church in Como. There, some tin on the back side roof of the church peeled back due to the wind. Some outdoor playground equipment at the church also suffered damage.

A tree fell across both lanes of US 258 north of Como near the Millneck Road intersection. That led to at least one reported traffic accident. Fortunately there were no serious injuries.

Hail, approaching golf ball size, covered the ground in the area of Millneck Road and George Parker Road. The wind also toppled several small trees in those areas.

Northampton County Emergency Management Director Ronnie Storey Jr. said the same weather system raked across the northern edge of his county, but there were no reports of any damage.

“There was a tornado warning just above us, across the Virginia line, but I’m happy to report we escaped any damage this time around,” Storey said.

Gates County Emergency Management Director Billy Winn said there were some isolated pockets of small hail in his county, but no

Hailstones from Saturday’s storm in and near Como measured nearly golf ball size.


“From looking at the radar on Saturday, that storm which passed over the northern part of Hertford County moved more to the north than to the east and barely skirted the northeast part of our county,” Winn stated.

The arrival of that storm on Saturday was apparently the forerunner of a moisture-laden system that soaked the Roanoke-Chowan area and most all of eastern North Carolina on Sunday and Monday. There were reports of up to five-to-six inches of rain in some areas of northeastern North Carolina.

Today’s (Tuesday) forecast calls for more rain, possibly another inch, with a few thunderstorms possible. Highs will be in the low 70s. It will also be windy today, with a constant breeze coming out of the east-southeast at 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials remind motorists that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater, and less than two feet of water can carry away most vehicles. If line markings on the road are not visible, do not drive through the water.

Below are more safety tips:

Avoid driving through pools of standing water, even if they appear shallow. Water could be covering road hazards such as holes, fallen power lines or debris.

Allow yourself more time to get where you’re going. Drive at least five to 10 mph slower than the speed limit on wet pavement.

As required by North Carolina law, turn on your headlights while using your windshield wipers, regardless of the time of day.

Stay alert and be ready for sudden stops. Allow at least twice the normal following distance between vehicles.

If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and apply the brakes in a steady, slightly firm manner and steer in the direction of the skid.

The local weather is expected to improve by mid-week. Expect decreasing clouds on Wednesday with a high in the mid 70’s. Thursday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and very warm, with a high topping out in the mid 80’s. The warm temperatures are expected to stick around through the remainder of the work week into the weekend.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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