RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue issued a state of emergency for North Carolina late Saturday night.
Storms that roared across the state produced as many as 62 tornadoes. Perdue called it the worst outbreak the state has seen since the mid 1980s.
Reports of damage spread from Rowan County to the Coast. Severe wind damage was reported in downtown Raleigh and a Lowe's Home Improvement store was flattened in the Lee County town of Sanford.
In Salisbury, severe weather damaged or destroyed 22 homes, uprooted hundreds of trees and knocked out power to many neighborhoods.
The storms are responsible for at least 20 deaths in North Carolina and dozens more across the South and Midwest.
The National Weather Service is expected to survey the damage Sunday to confirm they were in fact tornadoes.