Possible Tornado Rips Through Kannapolis; Tears Roof Off of Home

KANNAPOLIS, NC -People are staying at hotels and doing what they can to clean up after a possible tornado touched down in Kannapolis.

“This one was pretty rough. This one was pretty rough,” said Joel Locklear, the pastor at Mt. Mitchell United Methodist Church off Old Salisbury Rd in Kannapolis.

The reported tornado touched down around noon. The worst of the storm happening fast.

“I heard a roaring sound so I knew what was coming so I went and I grabbed the dog and went to the basement,” said Locklear.

The strong winds toppled a tree onto the church building.

“We had a playground in the back that was cemented into the ground, picked up and tossed into the woods,” said Locklear.

“Only a few seconds after we got to the basement, the roof left,” said Jerry Pless, a dairy farmer who lives about a mile from the church.

The foundation and walls are all that remain of Pless’ home. He and his wife were making their way to the basement when the storm blew off the roof.

“We’re fine. Nothing touched us,” said Pless.

The storm flooded streets. People were seen picking up their property, most of them without power.

“It came through and it tore up my house,” said Brian Astacio, “it sounded like a freight train was coming through.”

About a dozen homes along Old Salisbury Rd have some sort of damage. People in the area say they did receive several alerts ahead of the storm and were as ready as they could be.

“Little upset, little stressed out by this stuff. It’s going to be a lot of work to fix up, but I’m just glad I’m safe and all my neighbors are safe,” said Astacio.

Crews from the National Weather Service will be in Kannapolis on Friday to survey the damage, confirm the tornado, and determine the strength of the winds.