Three dead, at least 40 hurt in storms in eastern NC

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Authorities said three people have been killed when a sudden storm struck in eastern North Carolina, damaging homes and uprooting trees.

Pitt County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christy Wallace said one person was killed in the county and two in neighboring Beaufort County by the storms on Sunday.

She said A 77-year-old man was killed in Pitt County when high winds collapsed a barn as he was moving an ATV into it. In the neighboring county, a husband and wife died when a tree fell on their golf cart.

Pitt County Emergency Management Director Noel Lee said the damage appears to have been mostly from straight-line winds. He wasn't aware of any other serious injuries.

Wallace said she's aware of outages and trees falling into houses. Lee said a damage assessment was under way.

The Piedmont Triad is coming off a heat advisory with highs in the triple digits the past few days and temperatures dropping only slightly this week.

Progress Energy Jessica Lambert says Sunday's storms knocked out power to more than 60,000 customers in the company's service area North Carolina and South Carolina.

More than 16,000 customers in North Carolina were without power in Wake, Person and nearby counties. Witnesses said a storm that passed through Cumberland County dropped hail as large as golf balls.

In South Carolina, the Pickens County Coroner plans an autopsy on Monday to find out whether the high heat killed an 84-year-old resident at a nursing home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.