Tornado touched down Thursday in Masonboro area

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Wilmington neighborhood saw damaged homes, trees

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A tornado touched down in Wilmington Thursday night, damaging three homes, a van and some fences while knocking out power, according to the National Weather Service.

“A tornado formed just west of Sutton (Drive) along Waltmoor (Road) in the Oxford Place area of Wilmington,” according to a NWS bulletin.

The tornado, which touched down shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, moved northwest between Waltmoor Road and Archer Drive and lifted just before it reached Pinecliff Drive.

“It primarily caused damage to numerous trees and knocked down several fences,” the bulletin said. “However, the tornado uprooted trees onto at least three homes along Waltmoor (Road) and onto a minivan on Archer (Drive). In addition, the tornado flipped over a large wooden shed and knocked a small boat onto its side.”

The bulletin said the tornado, part of a large thunderstorm that knocked out power to thousands of customers, had maximum winds of 85 mph.

Reporter Tim Buckland can be reached at 910-343-2217 or