NWS Wilmington survey reflects straight-line winds in morning tornado warned storm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– Residents of southern Brunswick County got quite the wake up call this morning.

Monday morning at 4:01 am, the National Weather Service of Wilmington issued a tornado warning for a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado in southern Brunswick County.   

The fast-moving storm caused isolated damage, with the most being seen in the Ocean Isle Beach area. 

Steven Pfaff, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, says the survey they conducted suggests the damage was not from a tornado, but straight-line winds.   

“We determined it was just thunderstorm winds. It wasn’t tornadic. That thunderstorm did exhibit rotation, but the evidence we looked at was reflective of straight-line wind damage,” said Pfaff.  

The most significant evidence of damage could be found at the home of the Fulwood family near Grissettown.  

Janice Fulwood said that she and her family were asleep until the noise of the storm woke them up.  

“The wind really started picking up, and I heard stuff hitting the house,” Fulwood said. “I knew something was wrong when I heard that wind. It sounded like a loud screaming, squealing sound.”  

A few minutes later, they heard a loud boom, which was their RV being overturned.  

The family came outside to find uprooted trees, the roof thrown off of their barn, limbs, and various other forms of debris, along with their upended RV.  

“It’s nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was scared,” said Fulwood.  “It happened so fast.” 

The NWS survey suggests winds reached 60 mph during the storm. 

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