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Thunderstorms: One storm

Sep 26, 2023Sep 26, 2023

A large-scale cleanup effort is underway across the Triangle after powerful thunderstorms tore through the area Tuesday afternoon, knocking down trees and powerlines, and leaving one person dead in Durham.

Tens of thousands of people remained without power, mostly in the Durham area.

And late Tuesday, Durham Public Schools announced that because of hazardous road conditions and widespread power outages, schools will be closed for students on Wednesday. Staffers at DPS year-round, specialty high schools, and central services offices will operate on a two-hour delay.

Durham Police confirmed to ABC11 late Tuesday that the storm took a deadly turn. DPD said 78-year-old Donna Warshaw of Hillsborough was killed when a tree fell on her car.

It happened on Anderson Street at Morehead Avenue and Cranford Road near Duke University's campus.

The tree also fell on power lines. Police said Anderson Street and Morehead Avenue are expected to remain closed for several more hours while crews work to clear the road.

As of 11 p.m., nearly 70,000 were without power in Durham County and several thousand more were without electricity in Wake and Orange counties. Across the state, more than 116,000 were without power.

Check the Duke Energy power outage map here.

RELATED | Here's how to report and check power outages in your area

Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy tells ABC11 crews are out and working to restore power and clean up power lines as quickly as possible.

Severe weather amped up starting around 3 p.m.

Warnings popped up for several counties as storms packed with heavy rain, damaging wind, and loads of lightning passed through the region.

In the heart of Durham, storms quickly moved through busy streets right toward Javier Temas' house

"In just a few minutes, you just hear bam, something bad," Temas said.

His family was OK, but he showed ABC11 where a tree tore through the roof of his home near Liberty and Guthrie streets.

"I worry about family and that everybody is OK," Temas said. "You see a couple blocks away and it's bad."

Just a few blocks away near Driver Street, live wires fell on the road as police blocked off the area where power lines were down.

And Hyde Park Avenue at Holloway Street was blocked by a massive tree that took down power lines on both sides of the road, hitting homes with debris flying everywhere.

Jamario Perry had trees and limbs crash onto his home in Argonne Hills.

"The wind picked up and all heck broke loose," Perry said. "Just hoping trees won't fall on my house and it holds up. It was pretty intense."

Perry said it was scary but "you gotta respect mother nature."

In Durham, police reported numerous trees knocking down power lines and creating dangerous situations. Here's a list of streets closed:

DPD said shortly after 8:30 p.m. that the following streets have reopened:

Storms also took down trees and power lines in northern Wake County. The Northern Wake Fire Department said it responded to dozens of calls of wires down, broken power poles, and trees on houses.

No major injuries were reported but power will likely be out for some time north of I-540 along Creedmoor Road, as well as east on Old Weaver Trail, and west on Old Weaver Trail, in the Dutchville section of Wake County.

In Hillsborough, a family was left in shock after a large tree fell on their home of more than 40 years, causing major damage.

These storms came after an extremely hot day. Many areas saw feels-like temperatures up above 110 degrees.