Rare tornado hits NC mountains; Two schools closed

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Photo credit: WLOS-TV

MURPHY, N.C. — Two schools in Cherokee County will be closed as repairs continue to damage caused by a rare tornado that moved through some of the most heavily populated areas of the county in the North Carolina mountains.

School officials say there wasn’t enough time to fully repair Murphy High School and Murphy Middle School over the weekend. The schools were damaged by a tornado Friday night.

Authorities say the tornado had winds of 120 mph and also heavily damaged a number of businesses and homes in Murphy. No deaths or serious injuries were reported.

The tornado was only the eighth ever recorded in Cherokee County by the National Weather Service. Forecasters say the county hadn’t been hit by a twister since May 1998.

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This story was written and provided by The Associated Press Wire.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)