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Bladen County residents picking up after tornadoes


Folks in Bladen County spent Sunday picking up the pieces after two tornadoes touched down Saturday night; leaving a path of destruction.

“Right now, it’s trying to find the keepsakes, the personal items, the house can be rebuilt, that is not a big deal,” said Chris Stone, whose house was destroyed.

Clarkton resident Johnny Autry said, “It sounded like a jet coming over the house.”

Broken glass, scattered belongings and the remains of the Norris home, wiped away by a vicious tornado late Saturday night. The family said the tornado was just like you see in the movies. They were sitting in their living room around nine o’clock and the next thing they knew the back end of their house came crashing in.

The owners of the house, along with their two young children hid in a closet underneath the stairwell. They said it was part of their evacuation plan; it’s the safest part of the house because it doesn’t have any windows.

“Stephanie and Eddie had a plan. They got under the stairwell in a closet. They had a plan and did exactly what they should have done so everyone is safe,” said Stone.

About a half a mile down the road, the Callhans watched their front porch fly over their mobile home. “The lights went out, the porch went across the trailer, and then I laid down on the floor,” said Bobby Callhan.

Judy Callhan added, “Right before it happened, we heard wind, rain and hail.”

The National Weather Service said the first tornado touched down near a turf farm; a storm with a wind speed of up to 85 miles per hour. The twister wrenched a metal silo and knocked down nearby trees.

“It happened in about a second, it doesn’t take more than a second for something to happen to you,” added Judy Callhan.

The rebuilding has already begun. The Norris family found their freezer and sofa about a quarter of a mile away from their home.

“Stephanie’s daughter made this for her in kindergarten, she is 11 now. And this was in a field probably about 100 yards away from here,” said Stone.

They said what was lost was just stuff and stuff can be replaced. The good news – no injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service classified the tornado as an F-2, with winds of up to 115 miles per hour. Another tornado touched down about six miles north of White Lake. There was no structural damage from that storm, just some uprooted trees.

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Story summary

videoFolks in Bladen County spent Sunday picking up the pieces after two tornadoes touched down Saturday night; leaving a path of destruction.

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