NWS: Five tornadoes hit N.C.

Posted October 28, 2010
Updated October 29, 2010

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— Five tornadoes touched down in North Carolina during a wild storm Wednesday that damaged homes and churches.

National Weather Service meteorologists who surveyed the damage Thursday said they found evidence of  two tornadoes hitting Person County and three others which affected Orange, Granville and Vance counties.

Seven tornadoes warnings were issued for those four counties on Thursday.

"If it's a tornado, we like to see trees laying down ... across each other in different directions," NWS meteorologist Brandon Dunstan said.

The tornadoes had winds between 80 and 85 mph and were produced by the same storm system.

Woman, neighbor recall surviving tornado Woman, neighbor recall surviving tornado

Some of the most dramatic damage was done in Person County, which saw three separate tornado warnings.

Winds tore a house on Apple Tree Lane south of Roxboro, off its foundation, pushed it 30 yards and spun it around. Geraldine Nash, 73, was home with her dog at the time

"I heard something hit the house, thought it was a tree," Nash's neighbor, Lorena Trotter, said. "When I saw her house, I lost it."

Nash and her dog, though, were both unhurt. Her daughter and her grandson who also live there were away at the time.

"I'm alive. Praise God, I'm alive," Nash said, when she surveyed the damage Thursday.

"He had us in the hollow of his hand, and he protected us," Trotter said.

The Red Cross has put Nash's family up in a hotel for three nights until they can stay with family in Roxboro. Family members said that they were renting the house and its owner has insurance.

The worst damage in Orange County was concentrated in the Cedar Grove area.

The cinder block wall of White Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Carr Store Road exploded outward, likely due to a pressure differential, firefighters said. Trees fell in the church cemetery. Cedar Grove residents pick up the pieces Cedar Grove residents pick up the pieces

"It hurts, but it can be replaced," said Betty Neal, who has been a member of White Oak Grove church since childhood.

Neal said that church members are determined to rebuild. "(We'll) just continue to band together and just trust in God. That's all we can do," she said.

Pastor William Alston said the damage is heart-breaking, but he's been encouraged by other churches that have offered to help.

"It means love and happiness, because they think enough of the old primitive Baptist church to come by and to offer to help," said Alston, who's been with the church for 13 years. He said the church had insurance coverage.

Amy Sindermann had just moved into her Orange County home one week before severe weather ripped the house's room off. The storm left her garage flattened and her storage shed gone.

"I still find myself thinking what if and driving around and bursting into tears every once in a while because there could have been a lot of what ifs," she said.

Sindermann said she was at work when the storm occurred but her 13-year-old son was home with a friend.

"I am very, very grateful that he knew what to do. He kept his head. He climbed in the closet," she said.

In Vance County, winds ripped part of the roof off a gas station at Satterwhite Point Road and U.S. Highway 158. No one was hurt, but the station sustained more than $25,000 in damage.

Two buildings were demolished on Elam Currin Road in Berea, according to the Granville County Sheriff's Office. A mobile home on Joe Pruitt Road was shifted off its foundation.

Betsy Mauldin returned to her Berea home to find a shed torn apart and its contents strewn across her yard, but her home was undamaged.

"We were so blessed we were not here when it happened," Mauldin said. "I probably would have had a heart attack if I had been here."

One man said he had a close call while driving along Satterwhite Point Road near Kerr Lake when a tree fell on his pickup-truck on Wednesday night.

Downed trees and power lines were reported throughout counties north and west of the Triangle.


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  • anne53ozzy Oct 29, 2010

    I have just driven through the area in Berea (Granville County) and the damage is far greater than I thought...numerous homes damaged and many trees down. The path of this incident is several miles long. Just wanted to let others know how sifnificant it is as I did not get that impression from the news reports about the area.

  • lesliegray Oct 29, 2010

    Kudos to WRAL! You did an excellent job covering the severe weather, as you always do! I live in Orange County and although the severe weather was not impacting me it was close enough that I wanted to know what was going on. I can watch TV shows any time. Thanks again and glad everyone made it thru safely.

  • jvinson Oct 29, 2010

    I am completely amazed at how insensitive people can be! Had it been your area that was affected by the storms, perhaps you would have a different opinion of the covereage. Bet that you would also be the same people that would expect a government bailout when your house is destroyed and you failed to provide yourself insurance coverage. Grow up people it isn't all about you! Good job WRAL, for putting safety first. It's a shame people would put viewing a TV Show above the safety of thier fellow man. If you were not in the path of the storms consider yourself blessed, however it may be you or your loved ones the next time. Use your remote and change the channel or perhaps spend some quality time with your family. God Bless all the victims of the storms and Thank you WRAL.

  • Shamrock Oct 29, 2010

    Never seen so many cry babies and whiners on GOlO as there are today! From storm coverage to the quality of the coverage.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Oct 29, 2010

    "do we really need to hear the same thing over and over and over for hours on end?"

    Yes, so that when we visit other cities in America we can be reminded how bad our weather people are and how lucky all those other cities are to have competent people in charge of theirs.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Oct 29, 2010

    And I saw it all from from the metal door of my manufactured home y'all. Now where are the news trucks?

  • bowhunterjunkie Oct 29, 2010

    "Rev." RB said--I feel so sorry for these people. I mean they don't have much to begin with living in a manufactured home, but then to lose it all.

    Thanks for the stereotyping "Rev". I choose to live in a manufactured home by CHOICE. I definitely could afford other housing, but choose to spend money on other things (ex. hunting trips, 2 to 3 vacations a year) and not be "house poor".
    Please think before you type from now on!!

  • alwaysconcernedmom Oct 28, 2010

    I know the weather was severe and all but do we really need to hear the same thing over and over and over for hours on end? Interruption for severe weather is fine...repeating the same thing over and over for hours!

    So just interrupt, take 5 or 10 mins go over any severe weather, run the tickler at the bottom of the station and keep programs on!

    You would THINK a Television station would KNOW this! Geesh!

  • farpost12 Oct 28, 2010

    Mustange, I'm with you on the manufactured home statement by "Rev" RB. I also live in a manufactured home and I choose to do so, not by necessity. I stay on the go way too often to bother with the upkeep of a $250,000+ home. I own a boat, an RV, and multiple vehicles (all in excellent condition, not on blocks) so a shame to be stereotyped because of the type of home I choose to live in.

    Shame on you Rev RB...Would expect more from a "worldly" person as you self proclaim.

  • Mustange Oct 28, 2010

    Rev RB you made this statement....I feel so sorry for these people. I mean they don't have much to begin with living in a manufactured home, but then to lose it all. I to live in a manufactured home choose not to have a home that cost 250.000 dollars and for one like the fact i have no mortgage mines paid for so i feel like i have a lot best mortgage is no mortgage.