Weather service investigates Robeson County for signs of funnel - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Weather service investigates Robeson County for signs of funnel

National Weather Service meteorologists survey storm damage in Robeson County on Thursday. (Source: WMBF News) National Weather Service meteorologists survey storm damage in Robeson County on Thursday. (Source: WMBF News)

ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) – Despite reports of uprooted trees and homes that were flipped over, the National Weather Service said a tornado did not touch down in Robeson County during Wednesday's bout of severe weather.

On Thursday, meteorologists with the service surveyed the county and spoke with the few homeowners dealing with damage. 

After a night of heavy rain and destructive wind, the Kopp family was stuck cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess.

“I don’t know what it was like, just that the end of the world was here,” said Douglas Kopp.

Kopp said he and his wife were inside the trailer when winds ripped it right out of the ground.

He said the trailer flipped two-and-a-half times. His wife fractured a vertebrae rattling around inside.  

“We kept rolling and tossing and glass kept breaking,” said Kopp. “Finally, when we stopped, the walls had come between my wife and I.”

On Thursday, NWS meteorologists looked into how this happened and searched for other damage around the area.

While the majority of Robeson County was under a tornado warning Wednesday night, the service had seen little proof that anything touched down.

“When we’re issuing warnings at the office, we’re viewing the storms on radar,” said Carl Morgan, a meteorologist with the NWS. “We like to see what really happened and compare that to what happened on radar.”

The meteorologists found no evidence of any tornado or rotation, but found evidence of straight line winds in the 60 to 70 mph range.

“Every storm survey, we learn something new and we use the information that we find to do a better job going forward,” said Morgan.

That new information is too little too late for the Kopp family, but they don’t care. They’re already moving on.

“I’m just trying to piece things back together and start over,” said Kopp. “I’m a fighter and I’ve just got to keep going.”

Kopp said they’ll salvage what they can from the destruction and find a new home.

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