MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP/WAVY) – The National Weather Service is confirming multiple tornado touchdowns in eastern North Carolina, and an emergency management director reports more than a dozen people were taken to the hospital as a result.
Meteorologists said Saturday that while its survey is continuing, they have confirmed EF-2 tornadoes touched down in Pitt and Beaufort counties on Friday. A final assessment was expected late Saturday.
Beaufort County Emergency Management Director John Pack said 16 people were taken to the emergency room when the storms passed through around 7:25 p.m. Friday.
Pack said 200 homes were either heavily damaged or destroyed. At one point, Pack said, 8,000 people were without power. By midday Saturday, the number was down to 300 and he said power should be restored to the least damaged homes by Sunday.
An Edenton spokesperson said about 200 customers lost power, and six employees worked throughout the night to restore power. Utility poles were broken and wires were down in some areas, but the spokesperson said they were all repaired.
The National Weather Service confirmed three “significant” tornadoes touched down in Pasquotank County. According to the Pasquotank-Camden-Elizabeth City Emergency Management Agency, the tornado impacted the Mt. Hermon subdivision, Foreman Bundy Road and Methodist Church Road areas. A spokesperson said that tornado was likely an EF-2. The tornado that impacted the Peartree Road and Meadowland Mobile Home area was classified as a “high-end” EF-1, and the one that touched down in the Nixonton area was a weak EF-1.
A Pasquotank County spokesperson said it appears 13 homes were destroyed and at least 17 were damaged. Pasquotank County residents whose homes sustained damaged or who need help should call Pasquotank-Camden-Elizabeth City Emergency Management at 252-338-0935.
In Chowan County, officials said the Wakefield National Weather Service confirmed damage there was a result of tornadoes, which have not yet been categorized. Chowan County officials told WAVY.com the Thick Neck and Macedonia communities experienced the most damage in Friday’s storms.
Senator Bill Cook (R-District 1) issued the following statement Saturday on the damage in North Carolina:
I’m deeply saddened and my heart goes out to all of the victims. Friday’s devastating tornadoes have caused a great deal of damage in eastern N.C. In one Beaufort County community there were over 200 homes destroyed or damage. Throughout the afternoon I’ve been driving around talking and praying with constituents who have experienced the devastating effect of this storm,” Sen. Bill Cook (R-District 1) said. “I have been in contact with state and local officials to ensure that the relief and recovery efforts occur as rapidly and seamlessly as possible. I commend our first responders and local churches, which are doing everything in their power to mitigate the damage and provide care for those in need.