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Emerald Isle, N.C. — A possible tornado, spun up out of the winds of Hurricane Dorian, damaged buildings Thursday morning in Emerald Isle, and a cluster of other tornadoes were reported across the southeast quadrant of North Carolina as the storm advanced.
“It shook a little bit, then it shook real hard and the right wall came tumbling down,” said Bill Knause, who had been enjoying his morning coffee right before the storm struck at Boardwalk RV Park.
Knause said he had planned to evacuate Thursday to join his wife in Fuquay-Varina. Instead, he had to be pulled from his damaged home by EMTs.
“We’re lucky there weren’t more people in the park,” he said. No one was reported injured despite the widespread damage visible in images and video from the area of Islander and Reed drives.
Sonny Robinson was not inside his home when the winds blew. He returned to find it relocated down the street.
“It evidently went airborne. That’s the top of my home sitting in Bill’s living room,” he said. “It’s hard to comprehend all of this destruction.”
More than a dozen campers were knocked on their side, their metal skin mangled and twisted. Some were flipped upside-down, with their tires now aimed toward the sky. A blue beach chair was left dangling, suspended in the wires that held up a power line. Other power lines were downed across a parking lot, where trash was strewn everywhere.
Residents spotted a water spout in Bogue Inlet, a sign of rotation in the storm.
The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office posted photos of several houses with roofs torn off in a community known as The Farm, not far from the state line with South Carolina. Debris was also strewn through grassy areas.
Elsewhere, the sheriff’s office showed images of winds that had overturned RVs and at least one boat parked on land.
Other tornados spun off by Dorian’s outer bands struck other areas along the coast. Tornado damage was also reported in Atlantic Beach and Carolina Shores, and North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Wayne County near Goldsboro was the location of tornado warning in the 2 o’clock hour, and by late afternoon property owners were outside clearing debris and anticipating the worst of Hurricane Dorian still to come.
On social media, residents of Wilson County posted photos of a funnel cloud seen on U.S. Highway 264 just before 4:30 p.m. The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado along White Loop Road, where massive trees were downed, including one on a car.