The winds that uprooted trees and blew out windows in Bethlehem Tuesday afternoon reached nearly 70 mph, according to a meteorologist.
Carolina Weather Group meteorologist Scotty Powell said Tuesday’s storms in the Bethlehem area brought gusty winds of nearly 70 mph.
The National Weather Service also confirmed straight line wind damage hit Alexander County on Tuesday. The damage pattern was consistent with downburst/straight line winds, the weather statement released Wednesday said.
The National Weather Service also completed a survey of wind damage along N.C. 127 between Bethlehem and Lake Hickory. Damage was confined to uprooted trees and snapped tree limbs, with one tree falling on and damaging a home on Skyline Road, the statement said.
A tree also fell onto a home on Shiloh Church Road in Bethlehem forcing Chassidy Rowe and her family to evacuate, and Bethlehem Pharmacy saw doors damaged by the storm.
The pharmacy was able to open on time Wednesday morning.
Gary Sain, pharmacist at Bethlehem Pharmacy, said their building is now secure and safe for customers to visit after the storm blew out the glass in the front doors of the building. Sain said repairs and damage estimates will still need to be completed in the coming days.
Powell described the storms as a microburst. The National Weather Service defines a microburst as, “a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm,” according to its website.
Microbursts can cause extensive damage, and in some instances can be life-threatening, according to the website.
No injuries related to Tuesday’s storms had been reported as of Wednesday afternoon.
Powell gave caution about gusty winds. “Wind is wind,” he said. “No matter if it’s rotating, like with a tornado, wind is serious and can cause extensive damage.”
The National Weather Service said in a statement that the information shared is subject to change pending final review of the event.