Tornado causes 'heavy damage'

A tornado was reported shortly before 8 p.m. in Claremont, according to Catawba County emergency medical services personnel. 

EMS crews said at 8:20 p.m. that another band of storms is expected to sweep through the country within 30 minutes. 

Due to heavy winds and rain, a structure in the 3100 block of St. Vincent Drive in Claremont partially collapsed. Emergency crews said the caller who reported the incident said a portion of her house was ripped off from the wind. 

Draka Communications building in Claremont also received heavy damage from the storm, but all personnel was accounted for. 

Portions of South Depot Street and Catawba Street in Catawba are completely blocked due to downed trees. 

Emergency crews requested a brush truck and chainsaws in Claremont to clear the road from fallen debris and trees. 

A tractor trailer also overturned Tuesday evening on Penny Road near Progressive Furniture.

A Newton resident reported damage to his home on McKay Road, where the storm ripped off the man's front porch and left holes in his roof. 

Portions of Conover also reported storm damage.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch Tuesday evening about 7 p.m. for Catawba County.

The watch is in effect until 3 a.m. and also includes Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Caswell, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Mcdowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Person, Polk, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey counties. 

At 6:58 p.m. NWS dopplar radio indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. The storm is 16 miles north of Shelby and moving northeast at 35 mph. Locations impacted by the warning include Newton, Conover, Maiden, Hickory, Vale and Cooksville.

To report tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail or flooding, contact the NWS' toll-free number at 1-877-633-6722.