Tornado rips through RV park along NC coast, leaves trail of destruction

Tornado rips through RV park along NC coast, leaves trail of destruction
A tornado reportedly ripped through a campground in Emerald Isle Thursday morning as Hurricane Dorian churned up the coast. (Source: Town of Emerald Isle)

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 3 storm before moving across Carolina coastal waters Thursday morning, creating a path of wreckage in areas inland.

Counties along the coast continue to braced for a potential landfall. Tornado Warnings were issued for areas in both North and South Carolina, and formations were spotted in both states as they experienced strong wind gusts and hammering rainfall.

A tornado tore through parts of Emerald Isle, uprooting trees, knocking out power and destroying campers.

Town officials are not aware of any injuries. Photos were provided by Emerald Isle town officials of a damaged campground, showing collapsed walls, wooden beams, windows, and even a child Pack 'n Play.

A man at Twice the Ice, an ice business in the area, says he was servicing the ice machine when a tornado came through. He was able to get into his truck and is safe.

The tornado that touched down was an EF-2 with estimated winds of 115 mph, the National Weather Service confirmed Monday.

“Shortly after 9:00 am Thursday, Emerald Isle experienced a water spout / tornado,” the Town of Emerald Isle tweeted Thursday. “There is property damage in the vicinity of Islander and Reed Drives. Boardwalk RV Park suffered the most severe damage.”

The National Weather Service tweeted a picture of a waterspout off Emerald Isle around the same time, 9 a.m. “Please seen an interior room if you are under a Tornado WARNING along the Crystal Coast!” NWS urged.

Firefighters captured a tornado on video as it passed their fire station in Pender County. The video was taken along Highway 17 around 6:55 a.m., when a Tornado Warning was still in effect for the county.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper confirmed that a tornado touched down in Brunswick County, where a Tornado Warning was also in effect Thursday morning.

That warning expired at 8:15 a.m.

“If they have not evacuated at this point I’d get to the safest point I could,” Cooper said of those who did not evacuate.

Possible tornado sightings were also reported in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

HURRICANE DORIAN: Video of a formation in North Myrtle Beach this morning was shot by our sister station, WMBF News. A tornado warning was in effect earlier as Dorian continues moving over coastal waters.

Posted by WBTV News on Thursday, September 5, 2019

North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling said a minor tornado may have touched down at 901 Westport in North Myrtle Beach, causing damage to a roof, WMBF News reports. No injuries were reported.

Dorian made landfall as a category 1 hurricane on Cape Hatteras Friday morning.

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