Local News

Lenoir, Wayne Counties Feel Brunt of Storms

Posted April 1, 1998

— People in eastern North Carolina are cleaning up after Wednesday's severe weather. The worst damage occurred in Lenoir County, where four people were injured and five mobile homes were destroyed in one neighborhood between Kinston and La Grange south of U.S. Highway 70.

But Lenoir wasn't the only place with damage. People in Wayne County spent Thursday cleaning up, as well. Some had no idea of the extent damage until then. What many say was a tornado has not been officially confirmed as such, but those affected by the storm know something hit them, and it hit hard.

Residents say the powerful winds seemed to come out of nowhere. Florence Bizzell says she was about 200 yards away from her home when she spotted a dark funnel cloud.

Residents say the storm struck so suddenly, then departed so quickly,they had no idea how destructive it had been. Wayne Ketchuck says a loud roaring outside was the only clue that something strange was happening.

Officials are reluctant to confirm a tornado unless they have scientific proof to back up witnesses' claims, but area residents say they saw some sort of funnel cloud. One official said they heard reports of three or possibly four funnel clouds touching down in Wayne County.

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