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A severe thunderstorm is capable of producing hail an inch or larger and wind gusts almost 60 mph. In some storms hail can reach softball size. Hail that size packs a powerful punch. Even hail that is just an inch in size can damage plants, roofs and vehicles. Louisburg experienced such a storm in late March last year with mostly marble-sized hail. That storm resulted in lots of roof damage and 656 homes in Louisburg were reroofed.
Straight-line winds of about 60 mph can break off large tree branches and even knock down trees.
If a severe thunderstorm warning is issues, take shelter immediately using the same guidelines as sheltering from a tornado. Often tornadoes can form in such storms.
The National Weather Service has tips on what to do before, during and after a severe thunderstorm.