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Severe storm, destructive tornadoes roll through Carolinas, 98 000 without power

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According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 7 tornadoes sightings were reported across the Carolinas on Monday, October 23, 2017, as a line of severe storms swept through the region, bringing much-needed rain. At least 98 000 people lost power at the peak of the storm and at least 75 000 remained in the dark Tuesday morning. Several people were injured but there were no deaths.

Four possible tornadoes were reported in South Carolina between 18:54 and 19:36 UTC (12:54 – 13:36 EDT). Numerous trees and power lines were downed and several houses and mobile homes damaged in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. There were 3 possible tornadoes in North Carolina, between 20:37 and 20:45 UTC (14:37 – 20:45 EDT). Multiple structures were damaged in Hildebran (Burke County) and Hickory (Caldwell County).

At least 8 people were treated for minor storm-related injuries in Spartanburg, SC where '18-wheelers were tossed like toy trucks at one auto plan,' AP reported, adding that fire could be seen shooting from gas lines after the storm passed through. There are also reports of cars overturned at an intersection in the county and numerous damaged homes.

One of the tornadoes is believed to have flipped over planes and cars, and severely damaged airport hangars at the Hickory Regional Airport in Hickory, NC.

In Edneyville, North Carolina, fire and rescue officials advised residents to stay home due to flooded roadways and downed trees and power lines. Flooding was also reported in Asheville and Boone.

At least 98 000 customers lost power before the day was over, mostly in the western part of North Carolina. 

At least 75 000 remained without power Tuesday morning. Of them, roughly 37 000 around Hickory, NC and 12 000 in South Carolina.

Featured image: Damage at Hickory Airport after possible tornado rips through on September 23, 2017. Credit: Johnny Kelly

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