BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — The National Weather Service confirmed a high-end EF-3 tornado touched down Monday night in Brunswick County, North Carolina.
The tornado was on the ground for 22 miles and was 275 yards wide. The National Weather Service said wind speeds were estimated at 160 mph.
NewsNation Meteorologist Gerard Jebaily explained this meant it was moving approximately 1 mile per minute. This left very little time to seek shelter.
Three people were killed and 10 people were injured in the tornado.
The tornado touched down at about 11:30 p.m. near Old Georgetown Road and Angel Trace Road as an EF-0. It moved northeast over forest land and intensified rapidly to an EF-2 as it headed toward Highway 904, according to the National Weather Service.
On the west side of Highway 904, a large portion of a roof was ripped off a metal building and several RVs were blown over, the National Weather Service said. The tornado crossed Highway 904 and damaged a large metal building and a church.
The tornado entered Ocean Ridge Plantation as an EF-2 with 125 mph winds and intensified to an EF-3 as it headed towards Cambria Court after crossing Rosebury Court, the National Weather Service said. Two homes were destroyed in the area and others suffered moderate to major damage.
The tornado’s maximum width of 275 yards was reached as it crossed Windsor Circle and decreased to an EF-2 with wind speeds of 115 mph, according to the National Weather Service. It crossed Highway 17 as an EF-1 and strengthened again to an EF-2, damaging several homes and trees along Green Bay Road and Old Shallotte Road.
The tornado crossed more forest and swampland and across Highway 130 and Highway 211, which was confirmed by a helicopter flight, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado lifted at about midnight about three miles east of Highway 211 after passing west of the Bear Pen Airstrip.
“It’s something like I have never seen before. A lot of destruction. It’s going to be a long recovery process,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a press conference early Tuesday.
There was not much warning before the tornado tore through town. While a warning was issued, the tornado was already on the ground, according to officials. People were at home and in their beds.