RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Anna Podris says she thinks a lot about the day tornadoes swarmed North Carolina.
“Because it was one of those moments where you are like, I might not have a house anymore,” she said.
Podris and her husband have been in Raleigh for more than 20 years. North King Charles Road is home – their same home from 11 years ago.
“My husband and I were in downtown at our art studio. At a certain point, everyone in the building was called into one of the lower rooms that did not have windows. We all kind of hunkered down in there,” Podris recalled.
On April 16, 2011, officials said 30 tornadoes touched down in North Carolina.
The storms killed 24 people and injured hundreds. The tornadoes caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.
Podris feared the worst as she pulled into her neighborhood.
“So, we had to keep on zig-zagging through the neighborhood going here and there until we could get to our street, which was also blocked by a tree,” she said. “It was like every other house had a tree laying on it,” Podris added.
She said her home was spared from the destruction. However, places like Earp’s Seafood near downtown Raleigh suffered significant damage.
“It was shaking really bad. We told everyone to go in the back,” Dan Stewart said in 2016.
Earp’s Seafood eventually was able to rebuild a year later.
The storms also led to massive clean-up efforts at Shaw University. The school eventually had to cancel the rest of the semester.
Millions of dollars were spent on repairs, but the school was able to reopen the following semester.
In the 11 years since the tragic day, Podris said new homes were built and new families and people have moved in.