RALEIGH — A series of thunderstorms rolled through Robeson County on Monday, dropping buckets of rain, putting on a light show, and causing some isolated damage.
Bobby Locklear’s home avoided damage when a large oak tree broke in half, toppling the top of into the intersection of 23rd and Chestnut streets in Lumberton, knocking down electrical wires and causing a localized power outage.
“It was raining so hard I couldn’t see outside,” said Leverne Lindsey, who has lived at the intersection for 25 years. “We heard the rush of wind and a big boom. My son saw the trees fall.”
“The power pole broke almost in half,” said LaCastta Locklear. “I saw something like this during Hurricane Matthew.”
Power lines were knocked down, cutting electricity to residents along North Chestnut Street.
“As soon as we get the trees out of the way the power crews will be getting the lines off the street and power back to the residents,” said Jim Butler, city arborist. “It should be back on tonight.”
Butler said the tree was probably more than 100 years old.
The tree fell during a Code Red that was issued by the city at about 5 p.m. and warned residents of the severe weather. The alert expired at 6 p.m., when skies cleared and temperatures were more pleasant.
They won’t be pleasant Tuesday. Summer doesn’t officially arrive until Thursday, but the seasonal heat already is here — and will push triple-digits today.
Forecasters are warning of dangerous heat throughout North Carolina at least through Thursday.
Forecasters said high temperatures from Charlotte to Raleigh to Wilmington are expected to be in the upper 90s. But forecasters say including the effect of humidity, the heat index will range from 103 to 109 degrees every day.
The forecast for Tuesday in Lumberton calls for isolated showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., but otherwise sunny and hot, with a high near 99 and heat index values as high as 103, according to the National Weather Service. On Wednesday it’s supposed to be mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 99. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1 p.m. The heat trend continues Thursday with a high near 97, and a chance of afternoon showers.
The projected high temperature Friday and Saturday is in the low 90s.
The weather service said once the heat index tops 90, people are at much higher risk for sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion if they have prolonged exposure to the heat.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency during which the person’s body temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher. A person can become unconscious and need emergency medical assistance. Heatstroke can be fatal.