Tornadoes confirmed in Gaston and York counties

Updated: May. 23, 2020 at 4:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It was a rough weather day on Friday as a line of strong storms moved through the Carolinas.

The National Weather Service confirmed that tornadoes touched down in Gaston and York counties.

Survey crews found storm damage in southern Gaston County on Saturday.

The damage was reported three miles north of Bethany and three miles southeast of Gastonia.

Damage in Gaston County began along Crowders Creek Road near the Sparrow Spring Road intersection and continued east-northeast across Ferguson Ridge Ridge Road, Highway 321 and Robinson Road before ending in the area surrounding the Gastonia Municipal Airport.

The confirmed tornado uprooted trees, snapped limbs and did minor structural damage along the length of the path.

The tornado hit Gaston County at 3:43 p.m. with an estimated wind speed of 85 mph.

The path length was 8.74 miles and the width was 100 yards.

The National Weather Service also confirmed an EF1 tornado, with winds of 95 mph, touched down during Friday night’s storms in northeast Cherokee County, between Blacksburg and the York County line.

The National Weather Survey said a tornado embedded within a larger area of downburst winds in the area around Kings Mountain National Military Park in northeast Cherokee County and northwest York County.

The tornado started near the intersection of Tucker Road and Zayes Road, crossing South Rutherford Street, Oak Grove Road and Highway 5 before crossing into Kings Mountain National Park.

The tornado moved out of the park in the area around Highway 161 North and Whitworth Road.

The damage ended in South Carolina around Henry Knob Road and Grandview Road North.

Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted along the entire path, but structural damage was at a minimum.

NWS officials are still investigating to see if the tornado in Gaston County was a continuation of the tornado in Cherokee and York counties.

There was a tornado warning in effect for parts of York, Gaston and Mecklenburg Co as Doppler Radar indicated rotation in part of the line. There was definitely plenty of damage. Numerous trees and power lines were knocked down. The storms left damage and many without power.

Today, the National Weather Service will send out a survey team to find whether the damage was due to a tornado or straight-line winds in Gaston and York Co.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter so much whether the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds. A tree on your house or car is just as much of a pain, whether it was caused by a tornado or not.

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