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Wayne Co. man 'lucky' after tornado narrowly misses home

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Steve Johnson tours the damage left behind from Friday's storm. Steve Johnson tours the damage left behind from Friday's storm.
The storm lifted an equipment storage barn off of its concrete foundation, tore down walls and left pieces of the metal roof dangling in the wind. The storm lifted an equipment storage barn off of its concrete foundation, tore down walls and left pieces of the metal roof dangling in the wind.
GRANTHAM, N.C. -

People in Wayne and Robeson Counties spent the weekend cleaning up tornado damage after a line of intense storms hit the area on Friday.

The National Weather Service says a pair of EF-0 tornados touched down in Robeson County, and an EF-1 tornado, with winds around 110 miles per hour, touched down near the Wayne County town of Grantham.  It happened around 1:30 on Friday afternoon.

Steve Johnson, a farmer in Grantham off U.S. Route 13, says he's "tickled to death" after that twister narrowly missed his home of more than 20 years. Instead, it destroyed a barn located just a few yards away.

"Everything's within 200 yards of what it destroyed," Johnson said. "I said, well at least nobody's in the hospital and nobody's at the funeral home."

The storm lifted an equipment storage barn off of its concrete foundation, tore down walls and left pieces of the metal roof dangling in the wind. It also uprooted trees.

Johnson, who is also Grantham's volunteer fire chief, was not home, but several employees and his son were on the property at the time.

"The boys were here working in the shop behind us, and they say it got pretty intense for about 30 seconds," Johnson said. "I think they all huddled up in a corner."

Some of Johnson's neighbors reported minor damage and a vacant mobile home was destroyed. There were no reports of any injuries.

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Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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