May 17, 2023 at 3:30 a.m.

Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather
Stormy Weather

Wayne Howard- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The stormy weather began in the mountains and furtherup into the foothills, but it spread into our area by late Tuesday afternoon and continued into the evening.  

There weren't any tornadoes (alhough many thought the storm that hit Cherryville was one) but some strong winds did serious damage in many areas.  In Lincoln County, there was nickel size hail in some locations in the western part of the county.  Cleveland County, especially the areas of Fallston, Belwood and 
Casar got it first.  Winds exceeded 50 mph and there were reports of gusts near 70 mph.  

From I-40 southward through Lincoln County into Gaston, the stormss came one after another. finally ending in the late evening.  

Cherryville was hardest hit.  Residents were urged to stay indoors after wind blew down tree limbs and power lines,  blocking some roads and leaving much of the town without electricity.  

Many social media posts and some tv stations suggested it might have been a tornado, but the Weather Service said it was more likely a 'super cell' storm with very high straight line winds.  Because of the damage and electric outage  four schools, 
  • Cherryville Elementary School
  • Beam Intermediate School
  • John Chavis Middle School
  • Cherryville High School
will remain closed Wednesday. The announcement also said that all school activities would be canceled for the day.  That means when and where the NCHSAA baseball playoff game with Cherryville scheduled to host Union Academy would be played was still  uncertain by late Tuesday evening.  The game had been scheduled for Tuesday--but then the storms came.

The storm damage included the left field fence at Fraley Field being blown down.  It was suggested that the game might be moved to Union Academy instead of Cherryville.  One thing is certain: it won't be played Wednesday.  As of Wednesday morning, they're still hoping it might be played in Cherryville on Thursday, but if that can't happen, it may be played at East Lincoln High School.  We'll post an update when we have confirmed information. WCSL Radio (1590AM, 92.9FM) will carry the game.

High Shoals and the Alexis area had some damage and Bessemer City took a hard hit by one of the later thunderstorms.  There were brief scattered power outages in other areas of Gaston County including Gastonia and Belmont, but nobody else took the hit that Cherryville got. 

Wednesday's forecast includes a slight chance of some late day thunderstorms, but nothing close to what happened Tuesday is expected.  For the most part, the next several days will be sunny, but there is a typical  summertime weather possibility of some scattered late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms each day Wednesday through Sunday.


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