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A severe thunderstorm with straight line winds toppled trees in the county seat of Halifax Wednesday while possibly a lightning strike took down power lines at First Street and Roanoke Avenue.

Halifax County Emergency Management Coordinator Buddy Wrenn said the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport recorded winds of 53 miles per hour with gusts around 60 miles per hour.

“It blew up really quickly,” Wrenn said. “We did lose shingles at the ag center with some water damage.”

The generator at the health department malfunctioned which has possibly impacted the supply of COVID vaccines.

Health Director Bruce Robistow said the department is in the middle of assessing whether any of the vaccines can be salvaged.

Wrenn said the Halifax County 911 Center operated on generator power for 14 hours. 

There was minor road flooding in the area of Highway 561 and Grapevine and Justice Branch roads.

Halifax County Manager Dia Denton said the storm caused the Historic Courthouse on King Street to delay the opening of several county offices housed there. She said the courthouse complex on Ferrell Lane and the social services building on Highway 301 did not lose power.

Roanoke Rapids Fire Department Chief Jason Patrick said what was possibly a lightning strike caused a tree to fall across power lines and poles in the area of McDonald’s at First Street and Roanoke Avenue, which caused widespread power outages throughout the city.