HIGH POINT, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — Storms that spawned an apparent tornado outbreak and left splintered homes and broken trees across Alabama and Mississippi moved east Thursday, forcing a NewsNation affiliate TV newscast team out of their studio for a few minutes.
In High Point, North Carolina, NewsNation affiliate WGHP-TV meteorologist Van Denton ordered everyone off the set during the 5 p.m. broadcast after a storm with a tornado warning moved right over the station.
“It’s over us. This is not the room we need to be in. OK, I’m not so sure this is the room we want to be in right this moment, but nonetheless, we have it coming right over the TV station as we speak. So, we’re going to step out of the studio,” Denton said on-air.
The team went into a makeup room for a few minutes, while Denton continued to update viewers on the storm by watching the radar on a TV in the room.
“I’ve never heard the roof rattle like that. We’ve never had to leave the studio during a broadcast,” said anchor Neill McNeill, who has been with the station 37 years.
But no serious damage or injuries were immediately reported in North Carolina from the storms near High Point and Charlotte, which both had tornado warnings. WGHP’s drone spotted some damage in the High Point area after the storm passed, mostly to roofs and trees.
On Wednesday, possible tornadoes in Alabama knocked down trees, toppled power lines and damaged homes. Some of the worst problems were in rural Clarke County, where authorities said two people were hurt when a home was destroyed and several others were damaged. In Chilton County, the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 with max winds of 130 mph, and near Tuscaloosa, an EF-1 in Moundville damaged homes with winds of up to 110 mph. The weather service was surveying damage in 12 central Alabama counties Thursday, as up to 15 possible tornadoes touched down on Wednesday.
The storms were expected to intensify as they move into South Carolina and North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.