Fatal Triad twister a possible EF-2

Posted November 17, 2011
Updated November 18, 2011

— The National Weather Service estimates that an upper-end EF-2 tornado struck Davidson County Wednesday night, killing six people.

A woman and her granddaughter were among the six people killed as a stormy cold front spawned tornadoes across the South.

Neighbors said the 51-year-old woman and 3-year-old girl were home alone on Meadow Run Lane outside Lexington around 6 p.m., authorities said. Their names haven't been released.

Only the foundation of the home was left. Neighbors said they helped rescuers carry the girl's body out from a pile of debris on a folding card table.

"She was just beautiful – big blue eyes and so sweet," said Maegan Chriscoe, whose daughter played with the young victim.

The storm left a 200-yard-wide track of debris for 7 to 10 miles, damaging 60 buildings in Davidson County and more than a dozen in Randolph County, authorities said. Fifteen people were injured, and about 40 people left homeless.

Alan Hughes was at the hospital when an apparent tornado touched down near his home at U.S. Highway 64 and N.C. Highway 109, south of Thomasville.

"I came home to nothing. Everything's gone – my mobile home, clothes," Alan Hughes said. "The restaurant that I worked in, it's gone completely, just destroyed."

Hughes' friend, Chris Duncan, has taken him in.

"I have to start over from somewhere," Hughes said.

Possible twisters tear across central NC Twisters tear across central NC

Duncan, too, had a narrow escape from the storm, which ripped through a nearby seafood restaurant, game room, gas station and hair salon. Duncan, his wife and children were at the game room when his brother-in-law called to warn them the approaching severe weather.

"It was just in that little bit of time that we had got our stuff and gathered our kids and got out of there before it really hit," Duncan said. "We're lucky. I know there were some people in there might have got hurt that weren't lucky, but we were lucky."

Around 20 people in the game room rushed into an office in the middle of the building when someone spotted a funnel cloud. When the storm passed, that office was the only part of the building left standing.

Winds tore the roof off and sent debris through the walls of Skipper's Seafood restaurant. Jennifer Starrett said she walked out of the restaurant straight into a tornado.

"Debris started falling. Things were hitting the car. The one roof landed there right in front of us," Starett told WFMY News. "At the time, honestly, it was just like, 'God, get us out of this. God, just get us through this.'"

Restaurant owner Lynn Feredinos she arrived soon after the storm and found workers and customers helping each other.

"It was unbelievable, but my main concern was that everybody was fine. The rest is history. I don't care about anything else," she told WFMY News.

Feredinos said she and her husband plan to reopen the restaurant, which they have run for 16 years.

Amy Dixon survived a possible tornado strike on her mobile home.

Sky 5: Davidson County tornado damage Sky 5: Davidson County tornado damage

"I looked at my friend and said, 'Oh man, it's a tornado,'" Dixon told WFMY News. "It tore off my back porch. It crushed my minivan. My minivan is no longer. My whole back porch is gone."

Severe weather isn't unknown in North Carolina in the late fall, when temperatures often change dramatically. On Nov. 16, 2006, a tornado killed eight people in the Riegelwood community in Columbus County.


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  • hellorhighwaters Nov 17, 2011

    F-2.....'shut-the-front-door'.......this looked more like an F-6. Mother-nature won't playing here. Whatever the game was...she won!

  • candacewilliams121209 Nov 17, 2011

    To those of you complaining about missing your favorite tv shows, WRAL did tell us where we could watch them and since i saw my that my area wasn't in the danger zone, i turned. if you'd paid attention to the broadcast you would have seen that. i think wral did the right thing by keeping people informed of the storms. parts of the viewing area were affected, maybe not your area, but i know people who live in areas that were. don't assume that b/c all you got is rain thats all anyone else in the viewing area got. the viewing area is more than just your town.

  • jackiemarshall Nov 17, 2011

    Wow, I never post comments to this sort of thing because I have far better things to do (like parenting and providing for my children), but to see that someone actually complained about interruption to their IQ lowering crime dramas when a grandmother and 3-year old child were killed last night is unbelievable. Pick up a book, seems like you need to read and enlighten yourself.

  • Ambygirl Nov 17, 2011

    simplelogic-- Just goes to show ya that even someone with an 'advanced graduate degree' is still lacking in some areas of the heart huh. And even in some common sense...

  • Nunya123 Nov 17, 2011

    T5050 - guess your "advanced degree" doesn't take into account that not everyone is parked in front of the TV watching 24/7 and the extended broadcast may have been all that was needed to warn those that didn't happen to be glued to the tube like the whiners posting on here.

  • simplelogic Nov 17, 2011

    T5050, when I'm in the path of a storm, I like to keep close tabs on the storm's progress, so I can take appropriate measures if necessary. Luckily, my local tv station provides such information, so I don't have to rely on - I don't know, a weather radio? Map-less crawlers? Occasional break-ins to someone's "favorite" show? Those people sitting in front of the tv may not have known they were in the path of the storm until the coverage began, and if they just tuned in, they may not find out in time if it was presented only briefly every few minutes. I can't imagine ANY tv show that's more important than information regarding ANY potentially dangerous developing situation. Even when it doesn't affect folks in Cary. :-P

  • ginlee00 Nov 17, 2011

    T5050: Just be quiet.

  • T5050 Nov 17, 2011

    Gucci Hippy Piggy your post makes assumptions without basis. I have an advanced graduate degree and am not heartless and I still side with those commenting that the extended droning coverage of last night's weather was not necessary. A short break-in to warn those in the path of the storm would have been more than sufficient. After all, if a person were in the path of the storm the last place they should have been was sitting in front of the TV listening to WRAL!! And to the poster from Cary, I too live in Cary and where I am we got very little wind and rain.

  • mcorson2 Nov 17, 2011

    Prayers for all who are effected or lost there lives. thank you WRAL for your service, its more important to me then a tv show.
    weather call is wonderful, I can sleep and know i will be alerted twice!!!

  • RebelCat Nov 17, 2011

    WRAL ... How does this equate to a "possible" tornado? It seems the word possible is totally misused in this article.