A powerful storm system late Wednesday, equipped with fast-moving wind gusts and downpours as it moved east, downed trees and knocked out power to about 2,000 homes and businesses across York, Chester and Lancaster counties.
Emergency responders in York County removed a tree that fell on HarborChase assisted living facility on Constitution Boulevard in Rock Hill, said Cotton Howell, York County director of emergency management. Residents had to be evacuated from their rooms, but none were injured.
The tree fell on a rear portion of the Harbor Chase building around 9:25 p.m., said Capt. Herbie Lowery of the Rock Hill Fire Department. Several residents had to be moved to the front of of the building, and four were displaced from regular living areas. Firefighters removed the tree from the roof and a protective covering was put over the damaged roof, Lowery said.
The damage at HarborChase included the roof, a rear entrance door, and a hallway, fire officials said.
The damage was mainly to the exterior of the building and no resident rooms were damaged, said Kathleen Storey, executive director of HarborChase. The residents affected did not have to be moved outside, but to another part of the building as a precautionary measure, she said.
"All residents were safe and no one was injured," Storey said. No estimate of the cost to repair the damage has been set.
Chester fire crews responded to at least a dozen locations throughout the night as they removed fallen tree limbs and received reports of downed power lines, said Eddie Murphy, director of Chester County Emergency Management.
No major damage was reported in the county, although Murphy said predictions from the National Weather Service and a ravaging tornado in northwest Georgia gave him concerns, prompting him and his deputy director to put "more eyes" on the storm.
"Luckily, Chester missed the brunt of the damage," he said.
Lancaster fared well in the storm, despite some "trees down here and there" and reports of a 500-customer power outage along S.C. 200, said Morris Russell, Lancaster County's emergency management director. Those customers received power off two Duke Energy circuits, Russell said.
By 8 a.m. Thursday, Duke Energy reported that 32 customers were without power. Eighty Duke Energy customers were still without power Thursday morning in York County, and in Chester, 28 Duke Energy customers had no power as of 8 a.m.
Overall, the night in Lancaster was "very quiet," Russell said, although he cautioned reports of more damage might come in as the day goes on.
The storm system spawned tornadoes in Georgia and Tennessee and severe thunderstorms in Alabama and Illinois. Many of North Carolina's mountainous counties suffered from heavy rain, flooding and overrun streams and rivers.
On Wednesday evening, officials reported that about 1,400 customers including homes and businesses were without power after meters in the city were hit, city spokeswoman Katie Quinn said. By Thursday morning, power had been restored to all areas except the Charlotte Avenue substation, which reported 10 outages that crews were working on.
Thursday's forecast expects temperatures to reach the 50s, according to the National Weather Service, with sunny skies and breezes.
Steve Lyttle of The Charlotte Observer contributed