Winter Storm Uri spawned tornadoes in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida Monday evening, leaving three dead and several others injured.
A deadly tornado struck Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach particularly in the Ocean Ridge Plantation area in Brunswick County, North Carolina, killing at least three people and injuring 10. The tornado, which destroyed and severely damaged several homes, struck around 11:33 p.m. Monday night. Rescue crews were still searching for additional injuries Tuesday morning.
Photos show downed trees, damaged buildings, and scattered debris at the scene. Ocean Ridge Plantation and the surrounding areas will require “long-term recovery,” a county official said during a noon press conference.
Residents had minimal warning of the tornado. The tornado formed as Uri passed through N.C. and touched down just north of Ocean Isle Beach right after 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, according to the North Carolina Weather Authority. By the time the National Weather Service broadcasted the storm, it was already causing damage.
An initial report by the National Weather Service described winds of up to 160 mph with a rating of EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. EF3 is the third-most intense rating on the scale with wind speeds between 136 and 165 mph.