WILKES COUNTY, N.C. -- The long process of rebuilding is underway in Wilkes County after much of the area was hit hard by storms on Monday evening.
A team of workers spent much of Tuesday cleaning debris on the sidewalk on North Main Street in the heart of downtown North Wilkesboro.
The storms were so strong, the roof of a building was blown off and landed on top of a car across the street.
Michael Parsons, Owner of Michael's Jewelry, was inside his store during the storm and saw the whole thing unfold.
"It was a big thud. The building shook. It did. It sounded like we had been hit by a train," said Parsons. "I've never seen anything like what was blowing through downtown."
Parson's shop was not damaged in the storm.
But the storm toppled dozens of trees and power lines across the community.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Duke Energy's power outage map reported that just over 15,000 in the county were affected.
N. Wilkesboro Mayor Robert Johnson says the community needs to come together to rebuild.
"Everybody cares about one another," said Johnson. "They have a love and unity and harmony for one another. They don't mind getting out and helping people back on their feet."
Mayor Johnson says the damage is so widespread, the city is still trying to figure out the how much damage was done and how much it will cost to rebuild.
"It just kind of blows you away about the kind of damage that storms like this can do," said Johnson.
A team from the National Weather Service is in North Wilkesboro surveying the hardest hit areas to determine if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds.
A bus also took a group of people from their North Wilkesboro home to an emergency shelter as the power is out at the facility where they were staying.
Wilkes County Schools were closed on Tuesday after severe storms.
The storms also brought heavy rains to Watauga County on Monday resulting in flooding around the Boone area.
Watauga County schools were delayed two hours on Tuesday.
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