Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tornado Damage Being Assessed to Determine Possible Assistance for Survivors Guilford, Rockingham counties struck by deadly EF2 tornado

Apr 18, 2018

Following severe storms that swept through North Carolina on Sunday, damage assessments are currently underway in Guilford and Rockingham counties to determine if any state or federal aid may be available to help individuals and communities recover.

“When I visited areas struck by the storms earlier this week, I was heartened to see first responders, neighbors and volunteers working together to help survivors start to recover,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “Emergency management experts are working to complete their assessments swiftly so these communities will know what kinds of resources may be available to help.”

Local officials conducted initial damage assessments Monday and Tuesday. Today, state and local emergency managers together are surveying damage in Guilford County and will move to Rockingham County tomorrow. The teams expect to complete their assessments next week. Once they determine the amount and type of damage, a determination can be made whether any areas qualify for financial assistance from the state and federal government.

National Weather Service has determined that an EF2 tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour touched down in east Greensboro just after 5 p.m. Sunday and traveled north into Rockingham County. The storm’s damage path is 33.6 miles long and about a quarter mile wide, ending at Ruffin in Rockingham County. In Wake County, an EF1 tornado touched down Sunday night near Wendell with wind speeds up to 87 miles per hour and left a damage track three-quarters of a mile long. Wake County officials have completed damage assessment from that that storm, finding minor damage to 19 homes.

Three schools in Greensboro are damaged so extensively that they will not reopen this year. Students who attended those schools previously will finish the school year at other schools. Guilford County schools are open today for the first time since the storm.

About 4,800 customers statewide remained without power this morning, with more than 4,000 of those in Guilford County. Statewide power outages peaked at about 85,000 on Sunday evening.

Non-residents are encouraged to avoid damaged areas to allow emergency responders and repair crews full access. Motorists traveling through storm-damaged areas need to be especially mindful of utility crews working to restore power and residents clearing debris.

“Navigating the roads and streets in many of these communities is still dangerous,” said State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We want everyone to be especially careful as they travel and work during the clean-up process.”