Beach goers got quite a thrill Thursday afternoon when they said a waterspout touched down, causing lifeguards to evacuate the beach.
Patty Senate said she was swimming on the north end of Wrightsville Beach, enjoying a nice sunny day when the weather took a turn for the worse around 3:20 p.m.
"We looked further down the beach towards Figure 8 [Island] and saw several strikes of lightning. Then all of a sudden there was like a funnel that landed on the beach and the lifeguard and the police came, and told everyone to get off of the beach right away," she said.
One of WECT's photographers, Mike Pelzer, was also on Wrightsville Beach during the incident. He described it as a little twister of wind that came up the beach swirling the sand and water.
Pelzer said the whole thing lasted only about 20 seconds, and that no one was hurt and no property was damaged.
Although scary, Patty said the funnel was "pretty neat."
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service do not suspect a tornado or waterspout spawned from this storm.
However, they said, "It is not clear whether this was straight line winds or not. It seemed more from an outflow boundary than rotation. There was little to no rotation on radar at that time."
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