Bladen County twister causes $350,000 in damages

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Parts of Bladen County experienced the wrath of tornadoes two times in less than two weeks.

Preliminary figures estimate the EF-2 tornado packed winds around 115 mph and caused at least $350,000 worth of damage.

The twister hit about five miles outside of Clarkton, not far from where a tornado touched down last Saturday night, damaging several homes along Twisted Hickory Road.

Buildings were stripped bare as siding was ripped off and was nowhere to be found.

"As I was going in the house, that's when the storm came," said homeowner's nephew Jermaine Fleming. "It blew me and I fell down. My aunt was shaking in her chair as the house shook and her eyes were closed and she was holding on for dear life. It happened so fast."

"It's so surreal to see devastation that hit, cause come around the curve and you still see the house there but once you get there you realize it's 10 feet further than it was," said Sonya McKly.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado damaged at least six structures on Farmers Union Road and two other homes on Baer Road, just 5 miles southeast of Clarkton.

Winds reached at least 115 mph and moved cars and trucks like they were models and tossed other items across yards.

"This welding shop container was sitting at least 30 feet back from where it moved and spun," said Emergency Services Director Mitchell Byrd.  "That tractor is completely turned around."

"I've never experience anything like that," said Fleming.  "I mean something so powerful - you have to be thankful."

Fleming is thankful to be alive and in the company of a family whose foundation won't shift in the face of a storm.

Bladen County is in the recovery process and is still receiving reports of additional damage.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.