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EF2 tornado hits Atlantic Beach condominium

Posted: Updated:
CARTERET COUNTY, NC (WNCT) -

The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday morning that an EF 2 tornado, with winds between 111-135 miles per hour, hit Oceans Sands Condominium last night.

“The wind picked up pretty bad. You could feel the roof like, almost like it’s coming off, back down. I immediately called the manager, Robert. By that time, somebody else had contacted him, and I came out here and it was debris all over the parking lot. It blew the roof off as you can see over here,” said David Schrader, who heard and felt the tornado. “It started to blow. It sounded like a train.  It just kept blowing. All of a sudden it quit and then it picked right back up.”

9 On Your Side was the first to report that Ocean Sands Condominiums was affected by Tuesday night's storms after we talked with an employee of the complex.

A man, who was trapped in Building B, was rescued shortly after. That building's roof was torn off and Building C was also damaged.

“We’ve never seen a tornado hit this bad here in Atlantic Beach. We’ve had the water spouts come in before, have some minor structural damage throughout the town, certain areas, but never one like this with this much force come in and be able to rip apart buildings and injure people and cause possibility of structural collapse,” said Chief Adam Snyder, Atlantic Beach Fire Department. “Yes, people actually live here in these condos, but fortunately it’s winter time, so there’s not a lot of people here. If it was summer time, it would be 10 times severe. We’re very thankful that you know, we didn’t have more people here and the possibility of someone getting killed out here.”

There are several reports of damage from the tornado in Carteret County. Morehead City declared a state of emergency in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Officials say law enforcement will be enforcing the state of emergency.

Carteret General Hospital is currently running off of generator power, but aren't turning away patients. There is only minor structural damage to the hospital; air handlers were blown off the roof and trees and power lines are down around the complex.

 Carteret Community College was hit by wind damage. The school is closed Wednesday with the exception of maintenance, grounds and custodial employees. No serious injuries were reported there. The campus will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Red Cross disaster workers are in the Morehead City area working to assist residents affected by the tornado. They're at the Double Tree Inn in Atlantic Beach and are meeting with families who were displaced. If you need assistance because of the storms, you can contact the Coastal Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross at 252-637-3405.

The City of Jacksonville says severe rain caused a line break under Onslow Dr. and caused the road to cave-in suddenly. Some cars were damaged trying to drive across the road. Officials say the area has been blocked off as crews try to repair the line and the street. Drivers are advised to avoid the area, as several lanes of traffic will be closed.

Tideland Electric Membership Cooperation says what appears to have been a waterspout or a tornado broke two transmission poles along Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island. Tideland EMC crews repaired one of the transmission poles, but weren't able to get to the second due to windy weather conditions.

Power was restored to Ocracoke Island at 9:05 a.m.Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative says tree crews and line crews worked to clear tree limbs at the Morehead City substation.

Power was out for about 1,500 in the Crab Point, Mandy Farms and Wildwood areas.There were also scattered outages in Havelock, which have been restored, and power "blinks" in the North River area.

The National Weather Service allowed the Tornado Watch to expire Wednesday morning. There are no longer any threats of severe weather across the 9 On Your Side viewing area.For those with travel plans on Wednesday, rain will be likely early across Eastern NC.

Temperatures will be quite warm during the morning hours. However, as this storm system move farther north, strong west and northwest winds will cause gradual clearing with much colder weather Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night.

Traveling south and west will improve Wednesday afternoon.

However, travel north and northwest will likely have problems as this storm brings a significant round of snow and ice to the Northeastern U.S.

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