WJTV News Channel 12 - Part of Atlantic Beach condominium condemned after EF2 tornado

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Part of Atlantic Beach condominium condemned after EF2 tornado

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The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday morning that an EF 2 tornado, with winds between 111-135 miles per hour, hit Oceans Sands Condominiums last night.

“The wind picked up pretty bad. You could feel the roof like, almost like it’s coming off, back down. I immediately called the manager, Robert. By that time, somebody else had contacted him, and I came out here and it was debris all over the parking lot. It blew the roof off as you can see over here,” said David Schrader, who heard and felt the tornado. “It started to blow. It sounded like a train. It just kept blowing. All of a sudden it quit and then it picked right back up.”

Officers arriving at the scene just before 10:20 p.m. found a large amount of debris and power lines down on NC 58 at the Ocean Sands Condominiums from the tornado that occurred just prior to their arrival. Fire and EMS were dispatched to Ocean Sands.  First responders found major structural damage to the condominiums.  Damage was also reported to officers at the scene scene to Island Beach and Racquet Club by a property owner.

9 On Your Side was the first to report that Ocean Sands Condominiums was affected by Tuesday night's storms after we talked with an employee of the complex. A man, who was trapped in Building B, was rescued shortly after. That building's roof was torn off and Building C was also damaged.

Town officials say that first responders evacuated 11 people, total, from the Ocean Sands Condominiums. Several of them had minor injuries. 2 of the 11 were taken to Carteret General with non-life threatening injuries. The rest were relocated.

One of those people was Melvin Hoard, who said he heard the tornado coming, and ran for cover in his bathroom.
"You can't recognize it. I mean, the front wall is gone, side wall is at a 30 degree angle, roof is gone. Everything is just mangled, tore all to pieces. It's terrible. I mean, if somebody had put a stick of dynamite in there, it wouldn't have done any more damage," said Melvin Hoard, who survived the tornado.

Hoard walked away with just 12 stitches in his leg.

First responders also evacuated 4 people from the Island Beach and Racquet Club Condominiums. One person there was treated for minor injuries by EMS and relocated.

“We’ve never seen a tornado hit this bad here in Atlantic Beach. We’ve had the water spouts come in before, have some minor structural damage throughout the town, certain areas, but never one like this with this much force come in and be able to rip apart buildings and injure people and cause possibility of structural collapse,” said Chief Adam Snyder, Atlantic Beach Fire Department. “Yes, people actually live here in these condos, but fortunately it’s winter time, so there’s not a lot of people here. If it was summer time, it would be 10 times severe. We’re very thankful that you know, we didn’t have more people here and the possibility of someone getting killed out here.”

The town's storm damage assessment team has already toured the area and the Atlantic Beach Inspection Department has condemned part of Ocean Sands Condos as well as two units at Island Beach and Racquet Club as unsafe.

There are numerous reports of damage from the tornado in Carteret County. A number of trees are reported down in the Hoop Pole Creek Drive area.  Most of the area of Atlantic Beach east of Peppertree Resort or west of the Lee Drive on Highway 58 never lost power throughout the night.

Officials say Duke Power has been on-scene for several hours working to repair downed power lines and restore power.  Meanwhile, the Atlantic Beach Public Services Department will be out clearing debris once power line crews have completed restoration of service, which is expected later today.

Morehead City declared a state of emergency in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

*Carteret General Hospital is currently running off of generator power, but aren't turning away patients.  There is only minor structural damage to the hospital; air handlers were blown off the roof and trees and power lines are down around the complex.

Carteret Community College was hit by wind damage.  The school is closed Wednesday with the exception of maintenance, grounds and custodial employees. No serious injuries were reported there.  The campus will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Red Cross says it has met with 12 families (19 individuals) affected by last night’s tornado. They're providing assistance for their immediate emergency needs, which includes shelter, clothing, food, minor medical care, supplies, and emotional support. They'll also offer a special Thanksgiving lunch to residents at their hotel since they're not be able to spend the holiday at home.

If you still need assistance after the storms, contact the Coastal Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross at 252-637-3405.

The City of Jacksonville says severe rain caused a line break under Onslow Dr. and caused the road to cave-in suddenly. Some cars were damaged trying to drive across the road.

The pothole sized cave-in was reported just after 7 a.m. near the Greyhound Bus Station. Jacksonville Police arrived at the scene not long after and blocked the hole off from traffic.
 
City crews used cameras to identify the collapse and repair the line, performing other actions to allow the street to be opened to traffic just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Tideland Electric Membership Cooperation says what appears to have been a waterspout or a tornado broke two transmission poles along Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island. Tideland EMC crews repaired one of the transmission poles, but weren't able to get to the second due to windy weather conditions. Power was restored to Ocracoke Island at 9:05 a.m.

Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative says tree crews and line crews worked to clear tree limbs at the Morehead City substation. Power was out for about 1,500 in the Crab Point, Mandy Farms and Wildwood areas.

There were also scattered outages in Havelock, which have been restored, and power "blinks" in the North River area.

The National Weather Service allowed the Tornado Watch to expire Wednesday morning. There are no longer any threats of severe weather across the 9 On Your Side viewing area.

For those with travel plans, traveling south and west will improve Wednesday afternoon. However, travel north and northwest will likely have problems as this storm brings a significant round of snow and ice to the Northeastern U.S.

9 On Your Side will bring you more information as it becomes available.

*Due to power outages, some of Carteret General Hospital's scheduled patient care services have been impacted as noted below:
The CGH Urgent Care, Wound Center and Rehabilitation are closed until power is restored.
Raab Oncology Clinic is closed. Patients are being contacted to reschedule needed treatments.
Elective surgeries are suspended. Patients are being contacted to reschedule. Urgent surgeries are still being performed.
Carteret Medical Group and Coleman Radiation are closed until power is restored.
CGH Imaging Center is open and seeing patients as scheduled.
The Emergency Department remains open and available for patients who may need care.

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