At least 2 dead after tornado touches down in Bertie County during Isaias

North Carolina

BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – Bertie County Sheriff John Holley now confirms at least two people — a man and woman — were found in debris after a tornado spawned from tropical storm Isaias blew through Bertie County early Tuesday morning.

Holley says the second person was found in a different mobile home from the first victim, but didn’t have additional details. The first victim was found outside of Windsor.

12 other people were taken to the hospital with injuries and 10 others were rescued.

Crews were searching for at least three people, Holley said.

Two of them, both children, were found safe. WAVY’s Deanna Bettineschi reports that the children were never actually missing. Some confusion may have occurred at the scene, where the children were presumed missing. That presumption ended up being unfounded.

The sheriff said the children were with their father while the mother was at work.

It’s unclear how many people crews are still looking for, if any, although the sheriff’s office said early Tuesday evening the search-and-rescue efforts had been redirected to a recovery mission in the Cedar Land community.

No information was immediately available about the conditions those who were still in the hospital due to injuries.

The American Red Cross was there Tuesday to assess the damage and see how they could help. The number of damaged homes is still unclear, the county said.

“As we were driving through the roads we could get through, there were power lines down, trees down, we saw some roofs blown off of homes, what appeared to be a deck against trees. There’s all types of damage we saw here today,” said Cally Edwards, regional communications officer for the American Red Cross.

Edwards says they are working on helping those people with immediate needs. They can help with a place to stay, a hot meal, and emotional needs as well.

“This is probably the worst thing that’s happened to these people. Nighttime storms are tough because you don’t always see them coming,” she said.

She says shelters were opened Monday night, and they’ve worked to keep people socially distant, take temperatures, and provide cleansing stations. Edwards says as more people are released from the hospital, they’ll connect with others too.

Bertie County officials say if you are displaced from Tropical Storm Isaias, call 252-794-6144. If you are a family member looking to receive a status update about a family member who is missing, please leave the missing persons’ name and a contact number with a County staff member at 252-794-6144.

Aerial shots from WAVY sister station WNCN shows sweeping devastation. The tornado touched down around 1:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday, meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler says.

County officials issued this statement: “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. We are beyond grateful for all of the support from our surrounding counties, and ask that you keep us and all responding agencies in your thoughts and prayers.”

Isaias made landfall on Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, at 11:10 p.m. Monday as a Category 1 hurricane.

There were tornado watches and warnings throughout northeastern North Carolina as well as parts of the Hampton Roads metro as Hurricane Isaias passed through the area early Tuesday morning.

Stay with WAVY News 10 on air and online for updates.


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