National Weather Service investigates tornado in Brunswick County


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Tornadoes aren’t common in Southeastern North Carolina, but the area did see some isolated severe weather on Wednesday that prompted a tornado warning.

Brunswick resident Amy Caudill says that she definitely experienced a unique event.

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“I’ve been here during hurricanes and stuff, but i ain’t never had anything like that,” she said. “It looked like a wall of water, and it was loud.”

The severe storms that swept through the region left items scattered throughout her yard.

“Chairs and stuff were way down there. It picked up rugs that were on the back porch and took them all the way down,” she said.

After receiving multiple reports like Caudill’s, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Pfaff went in search of evidence that a tornado truly did strike ground in Brunswick County.

He explained the damage assessment toolkit that National Weather Service meteorologists use to examine the severity of a storm.

“It helps us geo-tag the pictures that we take, and from that, we can come up with a path so we are out here determining not only where was this tornado on the Fujita scale, but what was its path length and path width,” Pfaff said.

The verdict?  Pfaff’s team determined that an F-1 tornado with winds of at least 90 miles per hour did form near Longwood, tracking a distance of more than 3 miles.

Microburst damage was also found at the Fire Training Center near Shallotte.

Although the tornado came and went in a matter of seconds, it’s an event Caudill said she will never forget.

“You don’t have time to react as being scared,” she said. “You just need to get to a safe spot, so I guess adrenaline kicks in.”