WJTV News Channel 12 - Night of terror: 30 years later

Night of terror: 30 years later

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SIMPSON - March 28, 1984 is a date that still brings back painful memories for some Eastern Carolina residents.

"I remember it was a long week," said current Simpson Fire Chief Johnnie Mayo.

He says he can remember that day like it was yesterday.

"It was just a mass destruction," Mayo said. "Things were tore up from house to house. It would skip a house and the next house would be tore up. You know it had no consistency compared to a hurricane."

Mayo had left the Simpson fire house 30 minutes before the storm hit. When he got home, he heard the fire chief at the time call for help because his house had fallen on him.

That fire chief was current Simpson Mayor David Boyd Jr's brother, Hyman Boyd.

"He had an extension cord or a drop cord wrapped around his throat that almost took his life," Boyd Jr. said. "Had they not got him as quick as they did, he would have certainly not have survived."

The tornado outbreak flattened areas in Eastern Carolina and killed more than 50 people in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Some say they still get nervous when they see a tornado warning issued for the area.

"I just hope and pray that we won't have to go through this again," said Boyd Jr. "It's hard to realize this happened 30 years ago."

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