Tornado with 110 mph winds rips through North Carolina town

Damage seen in Autryville, North Carolina after a possible tornado touched down in Sampson County Tuesday. (Photo: WNCN)

AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The small Sampson County town of Autryville is in a state of emergency and is recovering from a tornado that moved through the area Tuesday night.

The town of about 200 is very thankful that no one was killed during the EF-1 tornado that touched down just after 5 p.m. One person suffered a minor injury.

The tornado brought winds up to 110 mph as it moved through the town. Residents said it ripped through the area within just a few minutes.

Weather officials said that tornado was about 100 yards wide and left damage in three different areas. The tornado followed a non-continuous path for around 14 miles, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

Photos: Damage from tornado in Sampson County, NC

“I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting it. I just thought it was just going to be like a high wind. It was just going to pass,” said Paige Stalnaker.

Stalnaker rode out the tornado while hiding under a fire truck at the Autryville Volunteer Fire Department.

While some experienced the tornado inside a building or under a truck, Danielle Hall drove through the tornado.

“[There were] construction barrels rolling in front of me, all kinds of debris swirling and hitting my car,” she said.

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The fire department was likely the hardest hit in the town, but some homes did suffer damage.
“I’m very thankful that my daughter…soon-to-be wife didn’t get hurt,” said Justin Wilson, whose home was damaged.

Autryville officials enacted a curfew from 7 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday. The curfew has been lifted.