BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was in Brunswick County Wednesday to get a first-hand look at the damage caused by this week’s tornado.
The EF-3 storm, which hit late Monday night, is being blamed for three deaths and 10 injuries.
A National Weather Service report shows the tornado traveled 22 miles and the width of the path was 275 yards. The report also stated that the tornado touched down around 11:34 p.m. in North Sunset Beach and ended around 11:56 p.m. in Delco.
Cooper went inside the Ocean Ridge Plantation community, where the majority of the damage took place.
“We’re thinking about you and hope that everything can be put back together,” Cooper said to two residents whose home sustained heavy damage.
Husband and wife, Joe and Kathy Arancio, were both home when the tornado hit.
“By the time I turned my back, the doors came in and knocked me down to the bed and that’s probably the only thing that helped me survive,” Joe said.
“As soon as the first piece of hail cracked, I ducked and the whole back of the house flew in,” Kathy said.
Both said they’re grateful to be alive.
“This is sticks and bricks. They can be replaced,” Kathy said.
The governor said their hearts go out to the families of the victims, as well as those who were injured.
A massive clean-up is now underway in the upscale community.
Extra reinforcements have been brought in to help repair homes, while other residents salvage what they can.
“Just so many homes that are inhabitable or need a heck of a lot of work before they can be,” Donna Ciliberto, President of the neighborhood’s homeowner association, said.
Ciliberto said the support from the county and others is overwhelming.
Some neighbors have opened up their homes to those in need as the community begins to recover.
“This is a pretty special community like I said and there’s always an open hand for people to help each other,” Ciliberto said.