Tornadoes rip through county–VIDEO!Published 7:59pm Friday, April 25, 2014
Beaufort County was hit hard by a fast moving storm Friday night, with multiple tornadoes ripping through Chocowinity, Washington Park and down U.S. Highway 264 East into Pinetown.
At approximately 7:15 p.m., a tornado warning for the area was announced. Not long after, sightings came in quickly — first in Chocowinity, where Daily News reporter Jonathan Rowe witnessed two tornadoes touching down in downtown Chocowinity.
At 7:40 p.m., a tornado was seen forming across the river from downtown Washington. At 7:50, dispatch was saying county 911 was inundated with calls, with reports of trees and power lines down and residence damage on Whichard’s Beach Road.
By 7:51 p.m., Ray Midgett, a Simmons Street resident, said a very large tornado had come across the Pamlico River, plowing through Washington Park. Reports of people trapped in homes, as well as major damage to residences, on Coy Road near Washington, Whichards Beach Road near Chocowinity, and Boyd Loop Road in Pinetown, were being called into the 911-call center.
By 8:25 p.m., all county fire personnel were being called in to their stations to respond to massive damage in the county. Initially, emergency crews were prevented from responding to Whichards Beach Road because of massive amounts of debris blocking roadways.
Spring has been a deadly time of year for tornadoes in eastern North Carolina. On April 16, 2011, 12 people were killed by an outbreak of eastern North Carolina tornadoes.
VIDEO PROVIDED BY J.B. BLAND