The Latest: Vance, Granville tornado classified as EF-2


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the storms that moved across the Carolinas on Wednesday (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh says preliminary information shows the tornado that struck Vance and Granville counties was an EF-2.

The weather service said the storm had maximum winds of 125 mph. Its path covered five miles and was 150 yards wide.

While there was property damage, no injuries were reported.

As for power restoration efforts, Duke Energy reported 11,083 outages in North Carolina shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday and slightly more than 1,600 in South Carolina. South Carolina Electric & Gas reported 47 outages.

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5:35 p.m.

Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency in North Carolina, a move aimed at allowed utility crews to expedite power restoration efforts.

The declaration announced Thursday waives vehicle weight and service time restrictions to let the crews get to the affected areas.

A statement from the governor’s office said that as of 3 p.m. nearly 21,000 Duke Energy customers were without power. Many of the outages were in Forsyth, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. By 5 p.m., the number was down to 19,871, with 16,689 in North Carolina. Duke Energy serves much of North Carolina and South Carolina.

According to the governor’s office, emergency management officials have reported no serious storm-related injuries or deaths.

By 5 p.m., South Carolina Electric & Gas reported a total of 53 outages in its coverage area.

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12:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Granville County as storms raced across the Carolinas on Wednesday.

The weather service on Thursday confirmed that it was a tornado that touched down in Granville County northeast of Durham. The weather service is also checking reports of tornados in Cumberland, Moore, Sampson and Vance counties on Wednesday.

Forecasters have said they expect to confirm at least three tornadoes in North Carolina.

Homes and farms were damaged in Granville County.

High winds and heavy rains moved across the Carolinas as part of the same storm system that resulted in deaths in Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.

Thousands of customers were without electricity in the Carolinas, as utility crews worked to restore service.

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10:30 a.m.

Work is proceeding slowly to restore electricity after powerful storms moved across the Carolinas.

The major utilities and cooperatives serving North and South Carolina reported nearly 50,000 people without service late Thursday morning.

Duke Energy reported more than 46,000 customers without service. Nearly 37,000 of them are in North Carolina. The biggest problems continue to be in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

The nation’s largest utility also has more than 9,200 customers without service in South Carolina. The major problems are in Greenville and Spartanburg.

Electric cooperatives in North Carolina report 2,100 customers without service Thursday morning.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company reports only about 250 outages. Most of those are in Columbia.

South Carolina’s electric cooperatives have about 600 customers without service. Beaufort is the major remaining problem area.

Dominion Power reports just 19 customers without service in northeastern North Carolina.

7:30 a.m.

Officials in Darlington County, South Carolina, say a man died when he was hit by a tree as he was picking up debris from the storms that moved across the Carolinas on Wednesday afternoon.

Corner Todd Hardee said in a statement that 58-year-old Michael Gaines Sr. of Darlington had stopped on a road near his home to remove debris from the road when a pine tree beside the road fell on him.

Hardee said the death is being investigated by his office and the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Wayne Byrd said the victim was being a good Samaritan when he was killed.

No other deaths have been reported in the Carolinas from the strong storms.

7 a.m.

Thousands of people are without electricity after a series of strong storms swept across the Carolinas.

Duke Energy reports that nearly 47,000 customers were without service Thursday morning.

The nation’s largest utility says more than 37,000 of those without service are in North Carolina. The biggest problems are in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

The company has more than 9,500 without service in South Carolina. The biggest problems are in Greenville and Spartanburg.

South Carolina Electric & Gas reports most service has been restored after the storm. SCE&G says only about 200 customers are without service Thursday morning. The biggest problems are in Columbia.

Dominion reports only a handful of customers without service in northeastern North Carolina.

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