14 Apr Tornado touches down near Jacksonville
As Jacksonville residents have been enduring prolonged confinement to their homes because of Coronavirus, they found themselves dealing with more trouble in the form of a tornado that touched down in Onslow County near Jacksonville.
The tornado was one of three that were spawned during a spate of a severe weather with heavy rains and strong winds pounding Eastern North Carolina Monday morning.
The National Weather Service confirmed the touchdown of an EF1 tornado, with winds estimated at 100-110 mph, near Haws Run Road southwest of Jacksonville close to 9:30 a.m. Weather Service officials told WNCT9 News that the twister touched down nearly 10 miles from Jacksonville. Then it ran a course that loosely paralleled Haws for the entire 5.5 miles it was on the ground.
The NWS reported that storm damage included snapped, uprooted and splintered trees. Large limbs and full-sized trees fell on manufactured homes, severely damaging roofs. Also, the storm also knocked down some power lines.
A hog farm sustained the worst damage. The twister not only totally destroyed the hog houses but picked up pieces of metal roof and insulation, dumping them several miles from the farm.
One Onslow County mother turned her household dryer into a miniature storm shelter when she placed her children in it to protect them from the severe weather.
More tornado trouble
The other Eastern North Carolina tornadoes were both measured as EF0. One touched down in Maysville at 10:01 a.m. The other one touched down in Havelock at 10:25 a.m. Wind speeds in these tornadoes were estimated to be 65-75 mph. Damage from these two twisters included blown-down trees as well as damaged roofs and aluminum carports.
Jones-Onslow Electric said that the severe weather resulted in nearly 76,000 power outages in the area. Additionally, the storm knocked out power to several traffic signals in Jacksonville. Crews were able to restore power to most of those signals by 1 p.m.
Fortunately the NWS received no reports of injuries or fatalities from any of the tornadoes.
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