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Slideshow: Powerful storm knocks out power, blows down trees across NC; child dead in Va.

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© David Dutton from the County Home Road area of Greenville, N.C. © David Dutton from the County Home Road area of Greenville, N.C.
The view from Live Eye 9 on the Greenville Blvd. Hampton Inn as the storm approaches. The view from Live Eye 9 on the Greenville Blvd. Hampton Inn as the storm approaches.
The view from the 9 On Your Studios on Evans Street in Greenville as the storm approaches. The view from the 9 On Your Studios on Evans Street in Greenville as the storm approaches.
The view from NW Greenville as the storm approaches. The view from NW Greenville as the storm approaches.

Gov. Pat McCrory praised the state's first responders after a powerful storm system raced through North Carolina Thursday evening, bringing with it damaging straight line winds in excess of 60 - 80 mph, large hail and the threat of isolated tornadoes.

Three people died and thousands were left without power. The governor also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

The storm system started in the Upper Midwest and plowed across the country, hitting Mid-Atlantic and Southern states on Thursday. It caused widespread power outages and flash flooding.

Two people died in Wilkes County. Authorities said a volunteer firefighter was electrocuted after responding to a small fire when a tree fell on power lines and a 77-year-old man died when a large tree fell on him in his yard.

Another tragic death during the storm, a young woman was killed on East Franklin Street in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill.

She died after being hit by a falling tree just after 5 o'clock Thursday afternoon.

The Orange County EMS Director said a bystander pulled the 20-year-old woman out from under the tree, but she was unresponsive.

She was pronounced dead at UNC Hospitals.

And in Richmond, Va., a 4-year-old boy was struck by a tree that uprooted while he was visiting a Richmond park with his father.
    
Richmond police Capt. Emmett Williams said the boy was crushed by an old yellow tulip poplar tree that toppled during heavy winds and rains at Maymont Park shortly before 4 p.m.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The father was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Duke Energy requested additional utility crews from the Midwest and South Carolina to aid in restoring service to more than 243,000 customers who still have no power. Duke Energy said most of the power outages were in Forsyth County and Guilford County.

In Davidson County, the 911 call center reported widespread trees were down across the entire county.

In Guilford County, emergency management reported a tree down on a house and people trapped inside.

In Wake County, a trained spotter spotter reported a four-foot diameter tree, 60 feet high was blown down. Amateur radio reported a tree blown down on a power line near Lumley Road and Interstate 540 and a tree blown down and blocking the road at Mitchell Mill and Watkins roads.

Social media reported thunderstorm wind damage, a tree down and roof blown off a mobile home.

A trained spotter in Johnston County reported a tree down in a yard.

Across the east, the 911 call center in La Grange reported thunderstorm wind damage; a tree down between Pine Bush Road and Sutton Road.

In Kinston, the 911 call center reported a tree down on Kelly Road and Fallen Creek Road and powerlines down on Green Haynes Road.

9 On Your Side viewers shared photos of the approaching storm and the damage that followed, including numerous downed trees, sheds blown over, and, in some cases, damages to their homes.

The storm knocked a pipe off the side of Peggy Whitley's Saratoga home.

"I had no idea it was going to hit this house. He said the wind has ripped you all's pipe off the front porch," said Whitley.

Just up Highway 222, Alex Farmer and Cathy Johnson heard loud winds and saw smoke coming from their chimney. When they came out to check out how bad the damage was, they found part of the chimney and their roof in their yard.

"Oh, this is for real. I'm kind of in shock, but I'm ok. It's hard to believe," said Johnson.

Greenville Utilities reported about 200 customers without power due to the storm. The outages were scattered throughout GUC's service area. As of 8:25  p.m. all but a handful of GUC customers (10-15) had their power restored.

Earlier in the evening, the storm damaged a 34 kV transmission pole. This caused outages for about 4,400 customers in the Hollywood-Stokestown area. Power was restored within 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, a Dominion Resources outage left Tideland EMC's Plymouth substation without power. About 800 Tideland EMC members in Washington and Beaufort counties lost power because of the outage.

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