RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper plans Wednesday to visit the site where a tornado ripped through a Bertie County mobile home park early Tuesday morning, killing two people.
Two missing children and their mother were later found safe but two other people died following the confirmed tornado, according to Sheriff John Holley.
The twister, which touched down around 2:30 a.m. and was a result of Hurricane Isaias, decimated the park just outside Windsor in the Cedar Landing community.
Holley said crews found two people dead in the debris. Weather officials plan to issue a detailed report on the tornado on Wednesday.
Ron Wesson, chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners, said about 12 people were hospitalized.
Deputies went door-to-door Tuesday morning trying to account for all the residents in the community, the sheriff said.
Firefighters and search and rescue teams with dogs were helping to search for the missing.
“Assessment of the scene will continue today as well into the coming days. Taskforce Teams from across the state are on the ground supplementing local search efforts,” said Bertie County Emergency Management Director Mitch Cooper. “We want to emphasize that this is not a recovery mission, and rescues are still taking place which is why it is increasingly important to steer clear of the area.”
Holley told reporters at the scene earlier in the morning that three people were missing – an adult and two children. They were later found safe, according to officials.
Cooper later said during a press conference in the afternoon that based on information he received from local authorities, the mother and her two children were accounted for.
Bertie County officials are urging the public to exercise caution if they are near the Woodard Road/Morning Road area of Windsor.
“We are asking that our community allow us time to gather and properly verify more information from the various law enforcement agencies and first responders still working to secure the area,” county officials said.
The number of damaged homes in the area is not known at this time, officials said.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for the assistance of community nonprofits, churches, and local law enforcement agencies who continue to assist us. We had so many area agencies standing at the ready to spring into action,” said Bertie County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ron Wesson. “Our hearts are heavy as we continue to survey damage and get the big picture about what transpired, and just how many were impacted.”
County officials said at least 12 people were taken to the hospital with storm-related injuries and at least 10 more people were rescued and taken to shelters in the area.
The National Weather Service is expected to be on the ground Wednesday to survey the damage and try to determine the size of the tornado that tore through the area.
If you live in the area and have been displaced from due to the storm, call (252) 794-6144.
If you are a family member looking to receive a status update about a family member who is missing, leave the missing persons’ name and a contact number with a county staff member at (252) 794-6144.
Those wishing to inquire about monetary donations, or to submit a damage assessment request, call (252) 794-6144.
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