October 28th, 2010
Friday is planned as a teacher work day for Catawba County Schools. But Claremont Elementary students and staff will have Friday as a make-up day after canceling school Wednesday.
CCS Public Information Officer Carleen Crawford said Claremont Elementary students will go to school Friday as scheduled, but will be released by 12:30 p.m.
Claremont Elementary principal Chris Gibbs announced Wednesday for teachers to report to the school as they could after storms hit Catawba County on Tuesday night. Wednesday was the school's teacher work day to leave Friday open for students to attend.
Three Catawba County areas were impacted by Tuesday's tornado-like weather as it whipped through various parts of the county.
The Catawba County Emergency Services is reviewing damages in Claremont, the Sherrills Ford and Terrell area, along with the Cooksville and Vale areas. Karyn Yaussy, with emergency services, said Wednesday during a press conference that at least 47 homes sustained minor to major damage, along with at least 10 businesses with major damage. Yaussy said the damage ranged from $40,000 to more than $1 million in repairs.
A two-vehicle accident blocked Springs Road for more than an hour early Wednesday morning.
Maria Montiel, 41, of Conover, was driving her 1997 Chevrolet north on Springs Road when she went crossed the centerline and hit a 2006 Ford 500 passenger car driven by Jose Jesus Saucedaraiz, 19, of Conover.
N.C. Highway Trooper B.K. Perkins said Montiel's car hit the Ford car head-on at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, totaling both vehicles. The impact sent the Ford vehicle off of the roadway.
More than 10,000 Catawba County residents made it out to early voting.
"It's going great," said Larry Brewer, Catawba County Board of Elections director. "That's real good for this election."
Brewer said Catawba County has 102,912 registered voters. The election board is anticipating more voters to participate in early voting.
"Personally, I do recommend early voting," Brewer said. "Early voting people can pick the time to vote. (On Election Day), you don't know what kind of problems can arise."
Sue Poovey Harkey, 82, of Newton, died Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, at the Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley. The Harkey family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton.
David Canup thought he was going to die when he saw it -- the funnel cloud that ripped through his street in Claremont.
Canup, 60, lives on Catawba Street, which suffered significant damage Tuesday evening after two apparent tornadoes passed through the city.
"I thought it was the train coming through the front yard," Canup said of the storm's deafening roar. "I saw the tornado ... and I shut the door as quick as I could."
Police found a prosthetic leg that could belong to missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Investigators located the leg Tuesday afternoon during their search of Christie Road in Caldwell County.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins announced the recovery Wednesday afternoon during a press conference.
Adkins said investigators will use serial numbers printed on the prosthesis to confirm if the leg belonged to Zahra, who lost her lower left leg after suffering bone cancer.