Tornado touchdown in Pantego

Published 6:04 pm Monday, April 7, 2014




A tornado was reported to have touched down near Old County Road at the border of Pantego and Belhaven at approximately 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, according to Beaufort County Emergency Services.

The storm caused power outages across the town, and left a trail of debris in its wake.

With more storms expected for Monday night, the National Weather Service in Morehead City plans to assess the storm impact zone Tuesday morning.

“It was an isolated cell that developed on a bit of a boundary,” said Rich Bandy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “It had a good environment to intensify.”

“By the damage, it looked like an EF-1, possibly an EF-2,” said Jake Benedict, a graduate of ECU’s atmospheric science program who arrived at the scene minutes after the storm passed. “The storm ripped up a bunch of trees. In the specific area I saw, there were probably 30 trees uprooted.”

According to Benedict, the storm crossed the Pamlico River near Cuckolds Creek and made its way across 264. It proceeded to move east through open fields and intersected Beech Ridge Road, causing severe damage to billboards, cars and multiple houses.

All together, seven structures were damaged on Beech Ridge Road in Pantego. Four people were transported to Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven for injuries sustained from storm damage.

A Pantego resident, who was eight months pregnant, was forced to take refuge in a nearby water-filled ditch as the storm passed.

“We can thank our lucky stars that it wasn’t any more sever than it was, said John Pack, emergency management director at Beaufort County Emergency Services.

More details will become available as the situation develops.