‘Came out of nowhere’: Brunswick Co. residents describe frightening moments when deadly tornado hit

‘Came out of nowhere’: Brunswick Co. residents describe frightening moments when deadly tornado hit

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) - Several families in Brunswick County said they’re in a state of shock after a deadly tornado tore through their community late Monday night.

Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Ed Conrow said at least three people were killed and 10 were hurt after the tornado hit.

Neighbors living near Green Bay Road NW told me they felt the impact of the tornado.

Moments before it struck, Jennifer Hartnagle said she was at home with her family trying to get her kids settled for the night. That’s when she said they heard thunder and lightning. Moments later, she saw the tornado warning on her phone.

She described the wind as getting louder and stronger. Then her family quickly ran into the bathroom until the tornado passed.

“When we went into the bathroom, I honestly thought we were going to be on the news for a different reason,” Hartnagle said. “It was like a freight train. I didn’t think we were going to come out of there without any kind of problems or harm.”

Her 13-year-old daughter Ava described the moment as scary.

“It was awful, I just got this wave of panic over me,” she said.

William Whitesides said he and his family were at home when they suddenly heard lots of loud noises.

“At first I thought it was the washer machine,” Whitesides said.

Once the noises got louder, Whitesides said his family knew it was something serious. They rushed to a bathroom in the center of the house. When it was safe, his family surveyed the property for damages which he described as minor.

The was the first tornado Whitesides said he’s ever experienced.

”We had no control we were just sitting at the house,” he said. “It’s up to Mother Nature what happens.”

Christopher Lyleabshire lives nearby. This was also the first time he’s been this close to a tornado.

“It came out of nowhere,” Lyleabshire said. “It absolutely came out of nowhere.”

While many are still without power, they said that’s the least of their worries.

“Power’s not really that big of an issue compared to [what happened to] other people,” Whitesides said. “We’re pretty blessed.”

“I pray for those families that were hurt,” Lyleabshire said.