Tornado, storm batters Micro

Posted April 18, 2011 6:12 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2011 7:04 p.m. EDT

— When Angela Lane, her daughter and goddaughter saw a tornado coming toward them, they sought shelter in a family member’s mobile home in the Beulah in the Pines mobile home park in the Johnston County town of Micro.

“We all ran to the bathroom, but before we could close the door behind us, it just started throwing us,” Lane said of the rocking home. “It just spun around and rolled us, and then it was done in a matter of seconds.”

But Lane didn’t believe the danger was over.

“I kept looking up there (worrying it was) going to come back,” she said. “It’s got to come back because it ain’t finished, you know. How is it going to go on one side of the trailer and not the other side?”

Lane suffered cuts on her stomach. Her daughter and granddaughter were not injured.

Audrey Johnson and her husband, Joseph, who live in a mobile home park about a half-mile away from Lane, took refuge in a ditch near their mobile home.

“We were head to head, and I had my hands on her head, and just before it was all over with, she was gone,” Joseph Johnson said. 

Audrey Johnson had been knocked down by debris falling from the couple’s mobile home, which had been picked up and thrown over their heads into nearby trees.

Audrey Johnson suffered a bruised lip, a cut in her head requiring three staples, swollen arms and a cut in her leg that required 13 stitches.

Her dog, Runaway, was also battered around in the tornado. He had a few cuts but was not seriously injured.

Audrey Johnson said she was happy to get back an urn with her mother’s ashes, which a nearby neighbor found after the storm.

Manuel Contreras, who lives in the Beulah in the Pines mobile home park, was airlifted to UNC Hospitals for injuries suffered during the storm.

"He’s got cracked vertebrae in his neck, a severe cut across his head and cheek and ear, some eye damage, a dislocated shoulder, but good news, it looks like he’ll be released tomorrow," his boss, Clay Wisniewski, said Monday.

Wisniewski said Contreras was watching soccer on TV in his living room when his wife and three children ran to the back of the mobile home to seek shelter. Contreras didn't get to the back in time.

The family was found wandering amid the debris. Contreras' wife and children suffered minor injuries.

Johnston County Emergency Management officials estimate the severe weather caused $24 million in damage. They said 134 structures were destroyed and 104 structures had major damage.

Emergency workers responded to 25 storm-related events and transported 18 patients to Johnston Medical Center.

Johnston Medical Center reported treating 67 patients, including eight who suffered significant traumas and were sent to major hospitals.

No fatalities were reported in Johnston County.