‘It was crazy’: NC family says tornado nearly cost them their lives, damaged home

North Carolina news

BELVILLE, N.C. (WECT) – The Town of Belville says several residents reported touchdowns of suspected tornadoes Monday night.

Officials say it happened in the Olde Towne Subdivision between 9 and 10 p.m. Several trees were knocked down and homes were damaged along Olde Town Wynd. That’s the road the Chandler Family has lived for the last 14 years and have been through their fair share of coastal Carolina weather.

“Personally, I wasn’t very intimidated by it because it’s just another hurricane that we live through,” said Mason Chandler. Mason and his dad, Chad, were the only ones home when Isaias came through Brunswick County. “But after the tornado and everything, it’s very eye opening.”

Mason says he was in his room, talking to a friend on the phone — not really paying attention to what was going on outside. Chad says he got an alert on his phone for a tornado warning in the area and knew to take over. He told Mason to take shelter in the bathroom, which is what they always do in serious weather situations.

“We just sit there, hang out, and talk,” said Mason. “There’s not really much that happens, but this one was obviously different.”

Mason and Chad said it got eerily quiet.

“I was like, ‘do your ears feel like they have to pop?,’” said Mason to his dad. “And as he was saying ‘yeah,’ we just heard the tornado just rip the roof off, and part of the house, and then just a big thud from the tree that fell.”

When asked how he felt in that moment, he said he didn’t know how to feel or what to think of the situation.

“I didn’t know exactly what was going on, I’ve never been through a tornado so I didn’t know exactly how everything felt and everything,” said Mason. “It was crazy because I didn’t expect our ears to pop and it’s kind of like the movies whenever you hear the freight train and everything. I didn’t expect that to be real, but it was.”

Chad says they are going to look at apartments to rent knowing the repairs on their home will take a while.

The Town of Belville asks that residents stay home and wait for the “all-clear” from local emergency responders. The National Weather Service will likely head out to that area to assess the damage to confirm if and when a tornado touched down.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.

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