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Memory of tornado two years ago still fresh for Linden man

Posted April 16, 2013
Updated April 17, 2013

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— It was April 16, 2011, when a swarm of 25 tornadoes roared through North Carolina, touching down dozens of times in 33 counties.

Tornado in downtown Raleigh April 2011 tornadoes

Eighteen were declared disaster areas, including Wake, Johnston and Cumberland counties. Twenty-four people died.

It's in the Cumberland County town of Linden that Bruce Raynor is still recovering from his injuries.

"I'm still not able to do a whole lot," the 45-year-old said Tuesday, the second anniversary of the storms. "I'm just glad to be alive."

The storm left Raynor with a broken neck and a broken shoulder. He was also blinded in his right eye.

He still has not been able to return to his job as a crane operator.

The last thing he remembers about April 16, 2011, was standing outside his parents' home off McBryde Road.

"I had gotten out of the truck and was trying to close the truck door, but because of the pressure, I couldn't close it.," Raynor said. "But I didn't know it at the time."

But then, in a flash, he did. It was a tornado. He ran but not far enough.

The wind blew the roof off his parents' house and hurled it on top of him.

"The next thing I know, it's about five days later," Raynor said. "I wake up in the hospital." Bruce Raynor Memory of tornado two years ago still fresh for Linden man

Today, his parents' house has been rebuilt, but there are still memories of that day.

The garages where he and his father worked on old cars are still in tatters.

There are also emotional scars. Whenever there's a thunderstorm, or any rumbling, Raynor feels the flashback.

"Hearing Fort Bragg do their maneuvers – it rattles the windows, and I'll get up and look out the door wondering what's going on," Raynor said. "What's coming next? I'm just glad my parents didn't have to go through a funeral."


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  • kermit60 Apr 17, 2013

    Our department was the first to arrive on scene after the tornado. I never knew how bad Mr. Raynors injuries were. Glad to see he is doing OK.

  • shortcake53 Apr 16, 2013

    Hoping for continued healing for Mr. Raynor. I'm glad he made it through.