Meteorologists in the local area reported that a tornado touched down in Hillsborough on Friday afternoon.
According to multiple outlets, the tornado touched down west of Carrboro and moved north before crossing I-40 in Hillsborough. Orange County officials have not been able to confirm if a tornado officially touched down, but the storm-related damages were substantial.
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood confirmed that one residence near I-40 and Old N.C. 86 – Exit 261 was destroyed due to the storm. Video provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department showed multiple trees downed in that area along with the building destroyed. Blackwood said that there were no injuries reported from the incident.
Friday saw many tornado warnings issued throughout North Carolina and Orange County. The Town of Chatham County reported that they had received one report of a possible touchdown of a minor tornado on the north side of Siler City with some damage to a few buildings.
In a release, the Town of Hillsborough said that power lines are down at U.S. 70-A and Meadowlands Drive. In addition, there are scattered power and traffic light outages throughout the the local area.
Orange County officials are asking residents to avoid the area near I-40 and Old N.C. 86 while first responders assess the damage.
We are receiving reports of damage to structures and many trees down, concentrated around the Old 86/I-40 area (exit 261) south of Hillsborough. Please avoid the area to allow first responders to provide assistance. If you encounter a downed power line, turn around.
— Orange County NC Gov (@OCNCGOV) April 19, 2019
— Elaina Athans (@AthansABC11) April 19, 2019
This post will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.
Featured image via Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood