Two people have been confirmed dead after a tornado ripped through Bertie County, North Carolina early Tuesday morning. According to WRAL.com, Sheriff John Holley said the damage is the worst he’s seen in 38 years.
Holley, per WITN, announced that three people, including two children, are still missing at this time. Twenty people are injured, and at least ten homes are completely gone.
Speaking on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper said that the tornado hit a mobile home park, which Holly added is “pretty much gone” at this time.
In an interview with WRAL, resident Desaree Pike stated that she hid in her bathroom with her two children for two minutes. When she left, most of the area was in ruins. “I’ve seen all of my neighbors out and about this morning trying to clean up the best they can the debris, just reuniting with family members, happy they made it out.”
Early Tuesday, the Bertie County Government Facebook page posted a statement that read, “It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge and confirm information that has been posted in several public Facebook postings about a tornado that touched down in the Morning Road area of Windsor earlier this morning.”
The post continued, “We are asking that our community allow us time to gather and properly verify more information from the various law enforcement agencies and first responders still working to secure the area.”
DEVELOPING: At least 1 person is dead, 3 people are missing, and 20+ have been sent to the hospital following a reported tornado in Bertie County, North Carolina – WCTI@JoelBrownABC11
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 4, 2020
A press release posted to Facebook revealed that the tornado hit just before 2:30 am. On Tuesday, Bertie County Emergency Management Director, Mitch Cooper, stated, “Assessment of the scene will continue today and as well into the coming days. Taskforce Teams from across the state are on the ground supplementing local search efforts. We want to emphasize that this is not a recovery mission, and rescues are still taking place which is why it is increasingly important to steer clear of the area.”
“It’s bad,” Holley told WRAL News. “It doesn’t look real. It looks like something on TV. Nothing is here.”
Despite the damage, the storm tore through the county relatively quickly.
“All in all, this storm got in and got out pretty quickly,” Cooper said. “And that’s a good sign for potential flooding, which we hope will not be serious. So we’re of course saddened by the one fatality that we know, at least that we have, but we know overall that this storm, moving quickly, that the damage was not anywhere as great as it could have been.”
Red Cross Volunteers were helping clear the debris and damaged home in the Bertie County area early Tuesday. Cooper was quoted by The News Observer as saying, “Things are a little chaotic right now, but we’re assessing damages this morning, and it should be a nice day for us to be able to do that,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to handle things.”