Pastor captures video of tornado as it passes through North Carolina town

AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — As a tornado hit a Sampson County, North Carolina town on Tuesday afternoon, a pastor who was at his home managed to capture video of the twister passing close by.

The tornado hit the town of Autryville around 5:15 p.m., causing major damage to several homes and the town’s fire station and injuring one person.

Late Tuesday night, weather officials said the tornado was an EF-1 storm with 105-110 mph winds, a path about 100 yards wide and damage in three areas.

The video — just over two minutes long — shows the tornado appear to pass just behind a home across Church Street.

“I started hearing the noise … the tornado is going through Autryville right now,” said Michael Bartlett on the video.

“Here it comes … get in the middle hallway right now. Holy cow. Trees are falling!” Bartlett said while standing in his front doorway.

As the tornado passes, rain starts to fall heavier and Barlett can see items swirling in the air and damage.

“Lord Jesus!” said Bartlett, the pastor at Autryville Baptist Church.

Barlett’s home apparently escaped damage, but several others weren’t as fortunate.

At least one mobile home had the roof ripped off. The fire station’s roof collapsed, covering all but one fire vehicle for the town.

Tuesday night, officials declared a state of emergency in Autryville with a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Crews have been working on fixing power lines in the town since before daybreak.

The Red Cross said Tuesday night that they were on the scene in Autryville and that those in need of assistance from the storm should call the Red Cross in Fayetteville at 910-867-8151.