Dozens of homes damaged in Perquimans County

PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – Dozens of homes were damaged Friday in Perquimans County, when a tornado moved through the area. Meteorologist Tiffany Savona says the tornado in that area was an EF-2, and developed near Yeopim Road in Chowan Coutny. It crossed Burnt Mill Road in Perquimans County, and then weakened as it moved into Elizabeth City.

Perquimans County residents talked to WAVY News’ Jason Marks as they began to clean up and assess the damage Saturday.

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Russell Parker. “It is just hard.”

Community members told Marks it is easy to say everyone in Perquimans County is like family, with no better example than neighbors on Chapanoke Road.

“This is all Parkers around here,” explained Parker. “All family. All Parkers.”

The Parkers are tightly bunched in about a dozen homes. Most of them now have some sort of damage, and several homes are destroyed. Russell Parker was in his home Friday night, next to his father, as the storm blew through.

“It sounded like a roar,” Parker said. “Before we could do anything, the roof was coming off and the ceiling was falling in on us.”

Both father and son thought it was the end.

“Then we just started reciting the Lord’s Prayer, thanking God, and by the time we finished saying the Lord’s Prayer it was over,” said Parker.

“All the sudden, I heard the windows just blew out of the house,” said Clyde Spellman.

Two hundred yards from Parker’s place, Clyde Spellman was home alone hiding in the bathroom.

“I just went to the corner of the bathroom, fell on my knees praying for the Lord to keep me,” said Spellman. “I stayed there until it was over.”

Prayers were answered. Clyde, Russell and other family members lost homes, but no one was hurt.

“I’m very fortunate,” Spellman said. “I’m blessed. I know there’s somebody who kept me here for a reason.”

“I know we as a community and we as a people are going to be alright,” Parker added.

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