Storms sweep across Bladen County - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Bladen County hit with a microburst Monday night

By Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A microburst tore through an area about four miles outside of Bladenboro Monday night and left residents with a lot of destruction.

A microburst is a straight line of strong winds, similar to but distinguishable from a tornado. 

After the 90 mph winds calmed, rain poured for about two hours causing localized flooding.

Members of the National Weather Service spent Tuesday morning surveying the damage. 

"The storm prediction center that day highlighted southeastern north carolina as part of a slight risk that there was a potential for severe thunderstorms," said Steve Pfaff with the National Weather Service. "Typically we do get thunderstorms everyday in the Carolinas, but this day was a little more extreme, a lot more instability for these storms to work with which means more powerful thunderstorms and we saw the result of that."

Officials said crews worked to remove about 40 downed trees in the county.  Trees fell on several homes, power lines, and at least one vehicle. 

Most of the damage was on Highway 242 near Oak Grove Church Road, where crews successfully rescued a woman pinned inside her home.

Douglas Adams lives along the storms path and said a lot of the property that was damaged belonged to him and his family.

"I'm bankrupt to be honest with you," said Adams. "It's devastating you just never imagine nothing like that would happen to us. It started raining real hard then all the sudden like a roaring sound started, and the rain starting hitting the house so hard you couldn't see nothing outside, so we shut the door closed and then the house started trembling and then just quit."

Adams said the storms only lasted a few minutes, but the path of destruction left behind will take some time to recover.

"I'm heartbroken," said Adams. "I mean everything we got is gone."

So far no injuries have been reported.

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