Tornado in Bladen County

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Laura Sinacori - email

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Bladen County Saturday night.  Tornado watches had been posted for most of Saturday.  A Tornado Warning was issued for Bladen, Sampson, and Duplin Counties after 9:30pm Saturday night.  All warnings have since been canceled.

The greatest impact happened along Twisted Hickory Road in Clarkton. Five homes were completely destroyed. Witnesses say everything happened quickly.

"I heard a big bang," said James Hilburn a homeowner. "I looked out, got my flashlight, saw the power was out. I looked across the street where I have a building, and it was destroyed."

There have been numerous reports of downed trees, power outages and structural damage. No reports of injuries have been reported, except for an injured horse.  Crews worked through the night trying to restore power to the area.

Residents whose homes were destroyed by the storms, spent Sunday starting repairs.  One man who is helping family members pick up the pieces said he was surprised how many strangers were helping.

"People pull together and do exactly what you want them to do," said Chris Stone. "This is a good example of good neighbors."

Officials from the National Weather Service classified the tornado as an EF2. They said winds reached up to 115 miles per hour.

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