Local News

Officials Estimate $500K in Tornado Damage

Posted November 19, 2006 1:41 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2006 1:42 p.m. EST

A tornado that left eight people dead in southeastern North Carolina caused at least $500,000 worth of damage, officials said Saturday.

Kip Godwin, chairman of the Columbus County Board of Commissioners, said damage assessment teams have determined that 13 homes in the Riegelwood area were destroyed. One home had major damage and a couple dozen more had minor damage, he said.

The damage estimate could go up after officials check and analyze tax values, Godwin said.

The tornado with winds up to 200 mph hit a mobile home park in Riegelwood early Thursday.

Cleanup efforts continued on Saturday as victims tried to uncover some of their belongings. Also Saturday, a disaster assistance center opened to help storm victims apply for state disaster grants and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Four children remained in critical condition at hospitals on Friday, but Godwin said Saturday there were no updates on their conditions.

An estimated 100 people were displaced by the storm, and most have arranged to live for now with family or friends.

The tornado was part of a devastating line of thunderstorms that killed 12 as they swept across the South. Riegelwood is a small town on the Cape Fear River about 20 miles west of coastal Wilmington.