RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Strong to severe storms with heavy rain and high winds swept through central North Carolina Wednesday night as a cold front moved across the area.
A Durham police cruiser was involved in a crash just before 9 p.m. Wednesday that was likely initially caused by standing water on N.C. Highway 147/Durham Freeway near Fulton Street, police said.
The crash started as a minor wreck between two other cars. Durham police responded and that cruiser was then hit by another car. The officer was not in the cruiser and was not injured.
Also, Highway 147 (Durham Freeway) southbound was closed from U.S. 15-501 to Hillandale Road because of standing water. Durham Police are responding minor wrecks in the area.
A downed tree was reported in Pittsboro, but there were no other damage reports.
The severe thunderstorm warning for Wake and Chatham counties was allowed to expired at 9 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm watch was allowed to expire at 10 p.m. for Orange, Chatham, Moore, Lee and Durham counties.
There was more damage in the Charlotte and Greensboro areas, where hail fell. In Charlotte, the Wednesday evening storm knocked down a barn full of cows, killing at least one cow, WBTV reported.
The storms have already done damage as they pushed through the middle of Tennessee on Wednesday, spawning tornadoes and damaging structures, felling trees and producing hail. A number of schools in the western part of North Carolina dismissed early Wednesday as the line of storms approached.
In North Carolina it was warm, dry and windy during the day as the front approached, with a high near 82.
Storms this evening moved from west to east across central North Carolina.
Rain and storms will be clear of the area by the morning commute Thursday as colder temperatures move in for a few days. Morning temperatures will eventually get into the 30s Friday morning and the 20s Saturday morning before warmer temps return by next week.