‘We can always rebuild’, residents cleaning up from reported tornado

Damage from a reported tornado at The Farm at Brunswick on Sept. 5, 2019 (Photo: WTVD)

CAROLINA SHORES, NC (WWAY) — “Next thing I know, I hear the freight train. It probably lasted about five seconds, but we heard a big ‘bam!’ and it blew out one of our back windows.”

John Sperry says that’s what it sounded like when a tornado barreled through The Farm at Brunswick on Thursday morning.

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“I have a double grill,” Sperry said, “It picked it up and threw it through the deck. All that yard furniture there was actually on my back deck.”

Homes with roofs ripped off and the siding ripped off. But just a few houses down, homes essentially left untouched.

“Just incredible,” said Earl Bottorff. He says he was one of the lucky ones.

“We have some minor damage. We fared pretty good,” Bottorff said. “We have some siding damage and some trim torn off.”

Neighbors say the tornado seemed to make a line drive through one side of the neighborhood.

Homes with the most damage sit empty now.

“It hurts knowing that at least we can still live in our house,” Sperry said sadly, as he walked outside. “We can always rebuild the deck and screen porch.”

As he patches up his roof and fixes the windows, Sperry is grateful, because he knows it could have been a lot worse for many more.

“I hate to say it. I believe I’d prefer to ride a hurricane out than a tornado.”

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office has been out all day trying to assess the damage.

County officials say overall, the county luckily did not see much damage.

The National Weather Service is expected to go out to the site and confirm the tornado in the coming days.