Storms pummel NC, damaging homes and businesses

By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A severe storm system whipping across North Carolina has done major damage to homes and businesses in the central part of the state.

The National Weather Service had reports of tornadoes Saturday in Lee, Alamance and Person counties and near Raleigh.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. But reports of severe damage included a Lowe's Co. hardware in a busy part of Sanford. Monica Elliott, who works at the nearby Brick City Grill, says the Lowe's was flattened by the storm.

Rescuers also were working to reach hikers stranded by a flash flood in the mountains after camping trailers were hit by floodwaters.

Progress Energy reports thousands of customers were without power as trees and high winds damaged power lines.

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