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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Storms and damage were widespread Thursday in areas outside of Wilmington. We met one family who is counting their blessings after a brush with a tornado.

For Russ Fawcett and his family in rural Pender County Thursday started off OK, but things went down hill in the afternoon. Russ and his family live on Brooks Road in Atkinson, and they knew they were in trouble with the tornado, but they also knew what to do.

“We had a close call with a tornado,” Fawcett said. “We could tell we were right in the middle. It was right overhead, and my wife in her good judgment, she is quite brilliant that way, had us practice where we were going to be under the stairs.”

The family heard and felt the power of the tornado as it passed overhead. In the end everyone was fine, but they did come out to find some damage in their neighborhood.

“A tree hit the power line and there was an electrical fire down at the bottom,” Fawcett said. “It probably burned for about 10 minutes, and you know, it could have been a lot worse.”

Fawcett says he is grateful for the volunteers who pitched in right away to begin cleaning up the mess the storm made.

He and his family are fine. As of Thursday evening the power lines leading to their home were still down, but that did not stop them. They have their own generator hooked up and running.


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