911 calls reveal harrowing moments following violent, deadly tornado in Brunswick County

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One of the Ocean Ridge Plantation homes destroyed by a tornado. (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — More than two weeks after a deadly EF-3 tornado tore through southern Brunswick County clean-up continues.

911 calls have been released detailing the moments after the twister raged through a neighborhood.

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Five of the many calls that were made to dispatch that night describe the scary moments for victims, especially those in the Ocean Ridge Plantation.

1st call from a victim in Ocean Ridge Plantation:
911: What is the address of your emergency?
Caller: We just had a tornado go through here.
911: Do you have any structural damage?
Caller: Yes.
911: Is there anyone injured, sir?
Caller: Nope, we just got glass and crap everywhere.
911: We’ll go ahead and get the fire department out there for you. You said you have some glass broken?
Caller: Well, our sliders are out of the back and part of the deck is gone. I mean, it went right across the back of the house.
911: Ok, we will get someone out there to you.

2nd call from a victim in Ocean Ridge Plantation:
911: What’s going on there?
Caller: I got a tornado that hit my house.
911: Did it cause any damage?
Caller: It blew out my front door. And my bedroom — I got glass all over the place.
911: Did it damage your roof at all, do you know?
Caller: I have no idea. We are on one side of the house. We’re cut up on our feet and blood is all over the place. I don’t where we are hurt. We have no light or anything.
911: Is it just you home or who else is with you?
Caller: My wife.
911:  Ok, we are going to get someone out to you.

3rd call from a victim in Ocean Ridge Plantation:
911: What is the address of your emergency?
Caller: I think a tornado came through — blew our windows out. Our windows are out. Our doors are out. It’s all over our house.
911: So it blew out your doors too?
Caller: Yes, it blew out our front door. Part of our back window.
911: Is anyone injured?
Caller: No, we are not injured. We’re OK.
911: OK, we are going to get some help out there to you.

4th call from a victim in Ocean Ridge Plantation:
911: What exactly is going on?
Caller: Our house has been hit by a tornado I guess?
911: Are you guys out of the residence?
Caller: No, we are inside the residence. Our front doors are all block. Our back doors are all blocked.
911: Is anyone injured, sir?
Caller: No, no one seemed to be injured, but we are bare feet and we can’t see anything.
911: It’s just you and your wife?
Caller: Yes, we are trying to find our dog.
911: We are getting them [law enforcement] out to you as fast as we can.

Another call from the victim on Old Shallotte Road:
911: What is the address of your emergency?
Caller: We just had a tornado. A tornado just hit our house.
911: How do you know it was a tornado?
Caller: Our house is destroyed. We have two babies.
911: Is anyone hurt?
Caller: I don’t think so. We all just flew underneath the mattress.
Dispatch advised the caller to go somewhere safe if possible. She says they will go out to their call until law enforcement arrives.

On Thursday, WWAY went back down to Brunswick County and spoke with people about recovery efforts.

The chairperson of Ocean Ridge Plantation’s Landscape Committee said following the storm their main concern was the safety of their neighbors.

“Our goal initially was certainly first, to be sure that everybody was safe, and so we had people inside calling asking neighbors are you okay, what do you need, and then we mobilized volunteers to those areas,” Sheree Seben said.

Soon after, they began to clear away the wreckage and debris.

“Our initial goal was to get what was on the ground, cut up, and moved to the front,” Seben said. “As well as any construction debris that might have been in the yard.”

Now, hundreds of trees and debris collected from the yards of homes in Ocean Ridge can be seen placed on the curb, waiting to be picked up by the NCDOT on Monday.

The neighborhood’s HOA president said the community is prepared for this next step in the clean-up process.

“These last two weeks, we have seen such sad devastation, loss of life,” Donna Ciliberto said. “Family and friends are obviously in personal pain, but we have also seen that this neighborhood community, inside Ocean Ridge and outside, are spectacularly loving, helpful, and therefore those people who need it.”

The Ocean Isle Beach community is uniting to hold a community blood drive on March 25 at Saint Luke Lutheran Church, in honor of the victims of the tornado.