A North Carolina beach town is reporting damage from a tornado that was spun off as Hurricane Dorian approaches.
Emerald Isle, North Carolina, said in a news release on its website that the waterspout touched down around 9 a.m. Thursday. More than a dozen campers were knocked on their side, their metal skin mangled and twisted. Some were flipped upside-down, with their tires now aimed toward the sky. A blue beach chair was left dangling, suspended in the wires that held up a power line. Other power lines were downed across a parking lot, where trash was strewn everywhere.
Other tornados spun off by Dorian’s outer bands struck other areas along the coast.
By late morning, heavy rain was falling sideways, trees were bending and traffic lights were swaying as Emerald Isle hunkered down again. The city was ground zero in 1996’s Hurricane Fran, which was the last major hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina. Emerald Isle also weathered Hurricane Florence in 2018 and a half-dozen other hurricanes in between.
Damage is being assessed after a tornado touched down in Emerald Isle. During hurricanes, tornadoes can form quickly with little warning. The threat of tornadoes will persist across portions of central & eastern NC through Fri. as Dorian’s bands expand north.— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 5, 2019
🎥 by Carteret Co. pic.twitter.com/9QYFiUBNHA
Dorian’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 mph (175 kmh), making it once again a Category 2 hurricane.
That’s still strong enough to cause damage along the coast of the Carolinas, where the storm is now close enough for hurricane-force winds to hit land.
Forecasters say Dorian’s center at 11 a.m. EDT was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, still moving north off the coast at about 8 mph (13 kmh). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
The National Hurricane Center says large and destructive waves up to 8 feet high could be seen in Myrtle Beach if peak surge happens during high tide.