WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Strong wind and rain moved through southeast North Carolina Thursday evening.
The National Weather Service determined the wind damage in New Hanover County was caused by a microburst.
This happens when the thunderstorm begins to collapse on itself, sending a rush of air down from the top of the thunderstorm to the ground. Since the air can't go through the ground, it disperses outward creating "straight line winds".
The estimated wind speed was 90 mph, or the strength of an EF-1 tornado.
A tree fell onto a building at the Colonial Parke Apartments off New Centre Drive in Wilmington. According to the Wilmington Fire Department, there were no reports of injuries, but the apartment received significant damage.
WFD units also responded to several calls for trees and power lines down, as well as two reported gas leaks in the New Centre Drive area.
There was also damage reported at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Market Street. Part of the roof blew off and damaged at least one car.
Employees at the Once Upon A Child store were working to clean up after winds blew through the front windows of the store. We also received photos of broken car windows in the shopping center near Target.
Across the area today, strong and severe storms also caused damage in Columbus County and Brunswick Counties. Two fires in the Leland area are believed to have been started by lightning.
There were also two fires possibly started by lightning in Pender County.