You may have heard about the storm we had on Oct 23, 2017. An EF-2 tornado about 3/4 of a mile wide touched down in the small town of Icard in Burke county just off I-40 and moved NE to the Hickory airport where it destroyed two hangars and several private planes and vehicles. This tornado reportedly sustained 125 mph winds and traveled 23 miles across 5 counties before lifting off the ground. It is hard to believe a tornado could find level ground to attach to in the Appalachian Foothills but it did and it found its way to the best alternative; Lake Hickory!
After it blew through the airport, the tornado continued on its NE path up the main channel of the lake starting near the Hwy 321 bridge to the tip of Planation Pointe on the Caldwell & Alexander county line. Significant damage was reported on both sides of the lake, especially in Northlakes on the north side of Lake Hickory. The funnel cloud then turned northerly up Icard Ridge Rd in Alexander county and eventually lifted back to the clouds near the Wilkes county line.
Power outages reached all parts of Hickory and the tree damage was immense. Mostly because our trees are immense. The Eastern White Pine has been known to reach 200 feet tall with a 4 ft diameter. In my yard, we lost pines, oaks and maples. We will be digging out for some time. It was hard enough to find contractors before the storm because they are all busy building homes, now it's nearly impossible.
The good news is we pulled together to help our neighbors and friends. And best of all there were no fatalities!
We shall survive!