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AMMON, NC (WWAY) — More than 20 people are confirmed dead throughout the state after severe storms hit Saturday. The small community of Ammon in Bladen County lost three people to a tornado producing winds more than 100 mph.

Milton Powell was in the tornado’s path. He says he was inside his trailer when it touched down, lifting his home off the ground and spinning it around twice.

“It was just like a bad ride,” Powell said. “Everything outside came inside, and everything inside went out. I’ve got two dogs missing. I found one last night and have one missing that I think might be under the trailer.”

Powell says he found all three victims laying among the debris.

92-year-old Marchester Avery and his son 49-year-old Tony Avery died in the storm. The tornado ripped apart and demolished their mobile home.

“Everything is just a total loss,” said Lottie McKoy, a family member of the victims. “Not only the death, but everything that they owned. You can see that everything is just mangled.”

The third victim, 54-year-old Darleen Zupo, lived just across the road. Family members worked all day, cleaning up Zupo’s personal belongings, finding what they could to remember her.

Neighbor Frankie Ellison said witnessing the destruction is something he will never forget.

“It just lets you know not to take life for granted,” Ellison said. “You don’t take it for granted, and what’s going to happen is going to happen.”


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