Fierce Storms Damage Robeson County
Posted July 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
ST. PAULS — People in Robeson county say they watched in disbelief Saturday night as strong winds and hail lifted their homes and mangled much of their property.
Robeson County authorities say tornados hit in the northern part of the county near Red Springs and Saint Pauls. Reports indicated the tornados toppled at least one mobile home and downed trees and utility lines throughout the region.
One teen near Red Springs-Saint Pauls says a tornado knocked him clear across his front yard. That was before a strong wind gust twisted the family's satellite dish and blew a trampoline over the top of their mobile home.
Douglas Bass says the area turned very dark, so that he could barely see. And then he was caught up by the wind and tossed in a back flip.
Witnesses say, in that same neighborhood, another trailer overturned and trapped a man inside. Folks with the Robeson County E-M-S say no one was seriously hurt.
David Carter, emergency management coordinator for Robeson County, says the roofs of several homes were damaged by fallen trees, but Carter says he is not aware of any serious injuries.
The St. Pauls Police Department says a tornado overturned a mobile home east of that town, and storage sheds were ripped apart throughout the area.
Chuck Holtzinger of the National Weather Service in Wilmington says the tornado winds probably reached in excess of 150 miles per hour.