Sunset Beach, North Carolina – At least three people were killed when a potential hurricane struck Brunswick overnight, leaving a trail of damage, Sharif said.
The Brunswick mayor’s office said the hurricane hit Seaside Road and US Highway 17 just after midnight. Officials reported extensive damage, including gas leaks, fallen trees and power lines.
The most severe damage was reported in the Ocean Ridge Plantation neighborhood, with three deaths reported and dozens of homes destroyed or damaged. In addition to the three deaths, at least 10 people were injured.
Brunswick resident Kate Gentle, who lives five minutes from where the hurricane landed, told WRAL News that she spent Monday night in her son’s lacrosse match and had no idea there would be a storm.
According to Gentle, when the family returned home, they suffered from heavy and regular thunder and lightning. Then Gentle said, Everything calmed down. She put her children in a cupboard just before the tornado warning arrived.
She said, “You can say something was not right.”
The Gentle family and her home are fine, but she said she is “sad” for the unfortunate people in her community.
Sheriff John Ingram said during a press conference that crews will learn more about the extent of the damage as the sun rises. He asked people who are not property owners or who are not helping the victims to avoid the area where work crews clean the streets.
More than 16,800 customers were without electricity in Brunswick at 5 am
The Wilmington Fire Department said teams requested by the state’s emergency department were deployed to locate missing persons, and the hazardous materials team was responding to the propane spill.
It is estimated that about 140,000 people live in Brunswick County in 2019, according to the United States Census.
The storm is part of the larger weather system causing extremely cold temperatures across much of the United States, including the ice storm that paralyzed the state of Texas, causing massive blackouts.
Storms will continue in the area and tornado clocks still linger in eastern North Carolina, according to Michael Jay, a CNN meteorologist.
He said areas north of Wilmington, including Outer Banks to Elizabeth City, remain under surveillance until 8 a.m.