The National Weather Service says it was an EF2 tornado that tore through Eastern Carolina Monday afternoon, damaging and destroying several homes and causing injuries.
An EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale means that wind speeds were between 111 mph to 135 mph. The NWS estimates the path width of the tornado to be between 200 to 300 yards wide. The length has yet to be determined.
The tornado first hit Beaufort County Monday afternoon, causing damage in Pantego and Belhaven before moving to Hyde and Washington Counties.
According to the American Red Cross, five homes on Beech Ridge Road and one home on Highway 264 in Belhaven were damaged or destroyed, affecting 13 people. There were no major injuries or fatalities reported in that area.
Red Cross caseworkers are working to assist the affected families.
Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal said witnesses reported the tornado picked up a truck with a father and son inside. The tornado then carried the truck over power lines and threw the vehicle into a field. The father and son, identified as Thomas Selby and Antwan, suffered non life-threatening injuries at last check.
According to Beaufort County EMS, the storm also caused power to go out in Belhaven and several vehicle accidents.
In Hyde County, at least one home, located on N.C. 43, has been seriously damaged, emergency officials said.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Eastern Carolina Monday afternoon, causing damage and injuries.
According to the NWS, they can confirm a tornado did touch down in Beaufort County based on visuals evidence. Officials are working to learn the tornado's exact size and EF rating.
A survey team will be heading to the scenes Tuesday morning to evaluate the damage.
The tornado first touched down at about 3:45 p.m. Monday west of Pantego in Beaufort County. The tornado then moved to the west and north side of Belhaven before going to Leechville. The tornado later moved northeast up to Gum Neck in Tyrrell County.
A Tornado Warning was issued for Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington Counties, but has since expired.
The tornado severely damaged a home on Highway 264 going to Belhaven from Pantego.