Family survives raging thunderstorms in Columbus County

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Theresa Swenson - email

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Fernando Sandoval and his daughter visited what was left of his aunt's home on near Whiteville, after storms rolled through the area Friday evening.

His three children were inside the mobile home when a strong thunderstorm crossed right over portions of Columbus County.  Meteorologists said the 60 mph straight line winds were responsible for the damage, not a tornado.

"I was scared for my young ones," said Sandoval. "She prayed to God and stayed with the young ones and stayed covered," he said.

Sandoval said he is grateful that his aunt and his children made it out safely.

In addition to the damaged home, less than a mile down the road, four cars were crushed after a tree fell to the ground.   The cars were parked in front of Hedwin's Mechanic Shop.

"We were in the shop working. All of the sudden it started raining," said David Hedwin, owner of the shop.  "Next thing you know, the wind was churning and you could see it turning. Trees started falling, stuff flying everywhere. The next thing I knew, a tree went across four vehicles and it flattened them to the ground. It was over within five to six seconds."

As the cleanup of debris begins, residents in Columbus County are happy that lives were not lost in those five to six seconds.

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