BELHAVEN, N.C. -
An EF-2 tornado tracked across several counties in the east Monday afternoon, destroying homes and damaging others.
That's the official word from the National Weather Service.
Based on the preliminary information from the tornado damage survey, the NWS has rated the tornado an EF-2 based on the damage that occurred near Beech Ridge Road. The tornado width, based on the damage swath, was estimated at 200 to 300 yards wide. The length of the tornado's track is still being determined. More details are forthcoming.
It even threw a truck over a power line with two people inside. So far, the NWS estimates the maximum winds from this tornado reached 130 mph. For perspective, an EF-2 tornado has winds ranging from 111 mph to 135 mph.
The tornado developed Monday afternoon just before 4 p.m. It moved across 35 miles through Beaufort, Hyde and Tyrrell counties.
One of the areas hit the hardest was Belhaven, just off of Beech Ridge Road. That’s where the storm initially touched down.
Just before 5 pm, Monday, Tideland EMC reported more than 3,000 people without power. A transformer went down. Before 6, crews had it repaired and there were only about 400 people still without power.
Initial reports from Belhaven's mayor, Adam O’Neal said that 13 people were sent to the hospital, but that was later corrected that only five people were transported.
One homeowner watched as the storm headed straight his way.
“A lot of people here lived through hurricanes and they know what a hundred mile per hour wind sounds like,” the homeowner told 9 On Your Side crews at the scene. “It was like that, only concentrated around that one area and you could actually feel the wind sucking into it.
The tornado then moved to Pantego, where it did a share of damage there.