February 7, 2020
On Thursday, February 6, 2020, at approximately 12:00 p.m., the Matthews area experienced a severe storm cell with heavy rain and high winds. Due to the severity of this storm, the town of Matthews's leadership immediately activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
An Emergency Operations Center is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management functions at a strategic level during an emergency. This is established so leadership from all town departments can convene in one location to gather and analyze all available emergency information in an effort to deploy staff and strategies in the most effective way possible.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a category EF1 tornado did come through Matthews during this storm.
During the peak of the storm and the immediate aftermath, our Communications Center fielded approximately 93 calls for service that were directly related to this weather incident. Of these calls, there were:
A total of 36 downed trees
17 into power lines
4 on residence
2 on cars
1 onto an apartment building
19 downed power lines
3 downed power poles
8 traffic signals out
1 commercial truck blown over
*No reported injuries.
Due to the extreme conditions that we were experiencing at the time, along with the multiple calls that were coming in, we were not able to post officers at all intersections with power outages. As calls come in, they are prioritized when dispatched for an officer response. Although we would like to have the ability to always have officers at all intersections whenever needed, it’s unfortunately not possible in some instances. This is why we continually promote the reminder that if you approach an intersection and the power is out, or the lights are on flash only, treat this intersection as a four-way stop.
To ensure that the Matthews Police Department had the best opportunity for an impactful response to this incident, additional off-duty officers were called in, officers from the previous shift stayed on-duty and some even began showing up on their own to help wherever needed.
We would like to thank every one of our community partners that assisted in this extraordinary team effort to keep Matthews safe:
Matthews Fire / EMS
Matthews Public Works
Matthews Police Department Citizen Volunteers
Matthews Fire / EMS Fire Corps
Mint Hill Fire Department
Mint Hill Public Works
Stallings Fire Department
Mecklenburg County Fire Marshall’s Office
There are some remaining closures and outages while Duke Energy crews are still in our area working to restore power as soon as possible.
NC 51 at Independence Point Pkwy.
NC 51 at Paces Apartments
NC 51 at Sam Newell Rd.
NC 51 at Fullwood Ln.
NC 51 at Sardis Rd.
N. Trade St. at W. Matthews St.
Bubbling Well Rd. at NC 51
S. Ames St. at Main St.
N. Trade St. at W. Charles St.
Lakenheath Ln. at NC 51
Things to Still Look Out For – Due to the previous high winds and now saturated soil, there is a chance that some trees could still be vulnerable to falling. Please be careful and aware of this when outside and dial 911 immediately if this occurs.
How to Be Prepared in the Future
Tornado Preparedness - https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI37ehypTA5wIVgYCfCh0I-wItEAAYASAAEgJ_m_D_BwE