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Local woman talks surviving the tornado that touched down in Porters Neck early Thursday.
PORTERS NECK – It’s the striking sounds Kristin Walker remembers most from her first experience in the path of a tornado.
As soon as she heard the tornado warning come through Thursday morning, Walker barricaded her family in an interior hallway inside her Plantation Landing home near Porters Neck. Dorian was making its approach to Wilmington and she wasn’t taking the warnings lightly.
A few hours later, the winds had calmed and they emerged from their fortress of pillows to make some lunch in the lull. That’s when she heard it.
“It was so calm,” Walker said. “I was taking my time, just listening for anything. Then I heard what sounded like thunder.”
Whether you’ve experienced a tornado or not, just about everyone knows that a tornado is said to sound like a train when it arrives. When she recognized the noise, Walker ran her kids back to the hallway and hunkered down.
“The whole house started to shake,” she said. “My son was near a doorway in the hall and felt the air get sucked out from underneath it and his ears popped. We heard the rain and the hail hit the house. Then I started to hear what sounded like twisting metal.”
The metal turned out to be the sturdy wicker furniture on the patio, heavy enough that Walker couldn’t move them by herself before the storm.
“It was literally picked up by the wind and thrown hundreds of feet from where it was,” she said.
A long, thick tree branch came crashing through her back door, exposing her home to the elements. The tree it broke away from wasn’t even near the door.
Walker has lived through everyone major hurricane in Southeastern North Carolina since the 1980s, and said she didn’t expect Dorian to be the first to bring a tornado to her doorstep.
“Even through all those hurricanes, a tornado was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced,” she said.
A family friend has helped her seal the busted door as best they could, and a metal stop sign has been wedged into a broken window panel to keep the wind out.
With Dorian far from over and her family again ready to brave to conditions ahead, Walker said she is a little braver in the face of Mother Nature.
“Now that I’ve survived one, hopefully I’ll be less nervous and more brave if there’s another one,” she said.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.