Brunswick community ripped apart by tornado, putting the final touches on recovery

Remembering the 2019 tornado at The Farm

CAROLINA SHORES, N.C. (WECT) - Hurricane Dorian spawned many tornadoes and one of the strongest rotations was in The Farm at Brunswick. Where an EF-2 tornado brought utter chaos to an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

Families were woken up to their homes being ripped apart on the morning of September 5th, 2019, but the 135 miles per hour winds came from a tornado inside of Hurricane Dorian.

Sandy Armstrong was visiting family when the tornado hit, but it didn’t spare her home.

“It looked like a war zone,” said Armstrong. “The things you see on television when the tornadoes go through don’t hit you the same as when you’re driving into your own neighborhood and seeing things everywhere.”

Neighbors had seconds to get to safety, throwing down their coffee cups or jumping out of bed to get out of harm’s way. Roofs were torn off, windows shattered and air conditiong units were thrown about during the storm. The damage was a grim reminder of the tornado’s awesome power.

“Unbelievable, it was just a shock, thank God we’re alive,” said Michael Terry. “I woke my wife up out of bed when the tornado hit. Windows blew out right as she was crawling across the bed. Just thankful to be alive.”

Today this community is on the mend. Many of the neighbors at The Farm, were out of their homes for months. Others have refused to return home. However some say they have no choice but to move on.

“My wife bought a sign that says new home, new beginnings, and that’s what it feels like," said Terry. "A new home and new beginning.”

But even with all the progress that’s been made, the start of another hurricane season is opening old wounds and hopes are high that this tiny community in Brunswick County doesn’t run into another tornado again.

“It’s hard because now when they talk about subtropical storms and tornado warnings, its ugh, here we go, let’s not have another one please,” said Armstrong. “I don’t sleep well when the weather is bad, I’ll put it that way."

That September morning in 2019, many neighbors here were awoken with the WECT First Alert Weather alerts. It could have even saved someone’s life or prevented serious injury.

Remember to have a plan and stay alert, whether on-air, online or in the palm of your hand the WECT Weather Team has all tools to help you do that.

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