Storm hits Capron; no one hurt
Published 10:46 am Friday, July 11, 2014
CAPRON—There was a big noise and a sky as dark as night early Thursday afternoon in Capron.
That’s how a few residents described the intense storm — who some said was a tornado — which came through, ripping limbs, pushing over trees and flooding roads.
In spite of the property damage, there were no injuries reported as of early evening, said Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.
While no one was hurt, Sheriff Jack Stutts said that a woman in Adams Grove became stuck in her house when a tree fell.
“Fire and rescue and law enforcement were able to clear the debris and eventually get to her, and she was fine,” Stutts said.
On Main Street alone, Allene Edwards made it home safely in her car to discover a large tree in the front had tipped over onto a fence and church property next door.
Her husband, Carl “Buck” Edwards and grandson, Jorden Jarratt, were inside when the storm came through. Yet, neither men heard any distinct crashing sound as the tree fell down.
“There was no big sound,” Jarrett said, who told his grandfather what happened when he came in the living room from having gone elsewhere to turn off the power.
The Edwards said they have lived at their residence since the early 1970s, and the tree was one of several brought from the home of Allene’s mother.
‘I loved that tree,” said Buck, who added that he and his wife will also miss the shade it provided. Allene joked that their electric bill will probably go up as a result.
She said the couple had been in Nags Head last weekend when Hurricane Arthur struck.
“This [storm in Capron] was worse than that,” Allene said. “We were lucky today. We feel blessed.”
Down the road a few blocks on the same side as the Edwards, Ron Christy and next-door neighbor John Smith will also have to deal with cleaning up broken branches and snapped trees in their front yards.
“It got so dark,” Christy said about the storm, “My landscape lights came on.”
Barbara Nussbaum, who was also at his home then, remembered the noise.
“It sounded like a plane or train overhead,” she said, adding with a laugh, “I did nothing, stupidly.”
“The worst was well behind us,” said Christy. “It’s a miracle it didn’t touch the house.”
Smith said he was outside on the back porch with roommates Charles Mangus and Karen Fraser when the storm hit.
She took immediate action to protect her grandchild.
“I was getting the baby into the closet,” Fraser said.
Smith, like Jarrett and Edwards, also said he didn’t hear the trees come down, not even when one large limb crushed the bed and top of his 1999 Dakota Sport, which had 152,000 miles on it. Smith added that he’ll always remember the pickup because it was the first vehicle he bought new.
“What a day,” said Stutts. “What a day.”
The sheriff had come to Smith’s home and offered to assist him in removing some of the branches from the yard. They and a handful of deputies dragged them to the curb after a chainsaw made quick work of the limbs.
Stutts said that earlier he had been at the northern end of Capron, where one of the roads had been washed out. He added that Dominion Power was at work restoring power where needed.
“We are just trying to get things back to normal,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t have anymore issues with the storms coming up.”
Audrey Mitchell, fresh off work, was driving to her Main Street home when it hit.
“It was pretty rough,” she said. “You couldn’t hardly see anything, and there was a lot of traffic pulled over on the side of the road. In Emporia, where I work, traffic was backed all the way down the [I-95] ramp going toward Lawrenceville.”
There was also traffic backed up on Rt. 58.
“I was really nervous,” Mitchell said about what she’d find when she got home. “You could smell the pine from the trees that had been cut, and I saw a power line down in the Adams Grove area.
“Tears began to come into my eyes. I was just praying that we would be safe.”
She got home, and discovered that her home had suffered no major damage, but her neighbor had a tree land on their home.
“My heart really goes out to them,” she said. “I just thank God that they are safe.”
John Jones, who also lives on Main Street, was fortunate in that he only lost some branches that dropped onto his yard, not home or cars.
“I was in the house. I didn’t see anything [like a funnel cloud],” Jones said. “It got real dark, like night. The rain and wind — and hail — were really hard.”
When he sensed that the wind had suddenly changed direction, “that told me it was possibly a tornado.”
Managing Editor Cain Madden contributed to this report.