Tornado hits Carolina Beach, mixed reaction from residents


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — On a day where multiple waterspouts were seen offshore, one touched land Thursday at Carolina Beach.

When a waterspout makes landfall it is classified as a tornado, and although the damage was minimal and no one was hurt the scene was pretty incredible.

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“Every summer we typically have three or four days during the year that we get waterspouts but it’s maybe every 5-10 years one will actually move onshore and affect the people along the beaches,” says National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Steven Pfaff.

According to the National Weather Service the tornado moved from south of the boardwalk, over the dunes, went by the car wash at Carolina Beach Ave. South and then went across the Carolina Beach lake where it dissipated.

“Fortunately we didn’t find much in the way of damage,” said Pfaff. “Waterspouts are typically weak, after they move onshore they’ll dissipate within 5-10 minutes just because of the way the circulation is. Being such a weak circulation any buildings or dunes that they encounter can disrupt that and fortunately since they are not on the ground that long they don’t cause that much in the way of damage.”

The storm was an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale with about 65 mph winds.

It caused mixed reactions on Pleasure Island…

“I was scared,” said Jalisa Gutierrez.

“Just one of God’s great creations,” said Steven Blankley. “It was awesome, it was neat.”

According to 9-1-1 calls people from Kure Beach could see the tornado. Another call said there was a different waterspout off Wrightsville Beach.