Tornado Warnings Issued in North Carolina

Tornado warnings were issued Friday across counties in central North Carolina as storm systems loaded with violent rain and wind marched eastward across the region, but there were few immediate reports of damage.

Warnings were issued for eastern Wilson County and northeastern Lee County and southeastern Chatham County by the National Weather Service (search). Radar indicated a tornado over the Rosser community, some seven miles northeast of Sanford, was part of a storm moving northeast at 20 mph.

A warning means a tornado cloud had been sighted.

A tornado watch, which means conditions were ripe for formation of the storms, was in effect until 5 p.m. for central North Carolina.

Earlier, warnings were issued for northern Wayne County and portions of Johnston County.

A funnel cloud was spotted moving northeast at 15 mph near Princeton, 40 miles east of Raleigh, the weather service said. Heavy rain moved through the area.

"There's no damage yet," said Ed Lewis, chief of police in the town of Princeton. "The power has flickered a few times. We're in the middle of it now."

Jason Barber of the Johnston County emergency services office said numerous tornadoes had been reported on the ground, but there were no reports of damage.

"We're getting multiple funnel clouds (search)," Barber said.