BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) On Tuesday, at approximately 2:30 a.m, a tornado hit a mobile home park outside of Windsor.
Bertie County Sheriff, John Holley confirms two people are dead. One adult female, and one adult male.
Bertie County Emergency Management Director, Mitch Cooper, noted that the assessment of the area is still ongoing.
“Assessment of the scene will continue today as well into the coming days. Taskforce Teams from across the state are on the ground supplementing local search efforts. We want to emphasize that this is not a recovery mission, and rescues are still taking place which is why it is increasingly important to steer clear of the area,” Cooper said.
The number of damaged homes is still uncertain at this time.
Deputies were going door to door in the community, with firefighters and search and rescue teams with dogs involved in looking for the missing.
Early conversations with Sheriff Holley told us there were still three to four unaccounted for people in the area.
It was reported that three of the possible four, were a mother and her two children.
The second fatality was confirmed around 11:40AM.
At around 2:20PM, 9OYS confirmed with Bertie County Sheriffs that the mother and two children were found safe.
9OYS spoke with Keyarta Ryan, a mother of five who sheltered her young daughter from the storm with her own body.
She says her son came into her room to tell her there was a warning and that they needed to take shelter immediately.
Not even seconds later, she told us, the tornado tore through their home.
“Everything started coming down, the wind, I just grabbed my three-year-old daughter, put her on the ground, got between the door, and got on top of her. It lasted for about twenty minutes, but it was the longest, scariest, 20 minutes I’ve ever been in”
The following statement was released by the Bertie County Government:
“It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge and confirm information that has been posted in several public Facebook postings about a tornado that touched down in the Morning Road area of Windsor earlier this morning. We are asking that our community allow us time to gather and properly verify more information from the various law enforcement agencies and first responders still working to secure the area. We are beyond grateful for all of the support from our surrounding counties and ask that you keep us and all responding agencies in your thoughts and prayers.”
The National Weather Service will be on location Wednesday to provide analysis on the size of the debris field, as well as determine the size of the tornado.
Officials said, 12 people were transported to the hospital with storm-related injuries, and at least ten additional people were rescued and transported to local shelters.
Monetary donations to Bertie County are also being accepted at PO Box 530, Windsor, NC 27983.
Those wishing to inquire about monetary donations, or to submit a damage assessment request, please call 252-794-6144.
“We are working with victims of Bertie County on shelter options, as well as seeking temporary housing solutions,” Mr. Cooper added.
The Bertie County YMCA will host a donation drop off and offer free showers to anyone affected from the tornado. Items like hygiene products, non-perishables, water and clothing to name a few.
Counselors will be coming on Friday to assist any families in need of emotional support.
The YMCA is located on 1102 North King Street, and will be open the rest of the week from 12-6pm.