Storm roars through Roxobel

Published 5:06 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

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ROXOBEL – Straight line winds were to blame for property damage here Friday night.

Mitch Cooper, Director of Bertie County Emergency Services, said multiple thunderstorms rolled through the county Friday afternoon and into the evening hours.

“The one that caused the most significant damage impacted the Roxobel area at around 10 pm on Friday,” Cooper stated.

He said there was significant damage to two residences and one agricultural warehouse, as well as areas where fallen trees blocked local roads. Fortunately there were no reports of personal injury.

“There was an unoccupied house destroyed by a tree that fell during the storm,” Cooper said. “Another home, this one occupied, suffered damage due to a fallen tree. Neighbors and members of the Roxobel Volunteer Fire Department came to the assistance of that homeowner.”

Cooper said the straight line winds destroyed a farm warehouse.

“It was a pretty large warehouse, roughly 5,000 to 7,000 square feet, that was used for storage,” Cooper said.

Cooper documented and photographed the damage in the Roxobel area and sent those items to the National Weather Service Office in Wakefield, VA.

“They ruled out a tornado, rather saying it was straight line winds in the 80-to-85 mph range that caused the damage,” Cooper said.

“We did have a few tornado warnings when these storms impacted our area on Friday, but they were all radar indicated and if they were there, they apparently did not touch down,” Cooper added.

Straight line winds are thunderstorm winds that have no rotation, i.e. not a tornado, according to Downbursts are a common cause of wind damage from a thunderstorm. They can reach over 100 mph and are caused by air being dragged down by precipitation.

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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