BRUNSWICK COUNTY — North Carolina Weather Authority confirmed a tornado touched down just north of Ocean Isle Beach right after 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15. Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office said the storm killed three people and injured 10.
The tornado formed as Winter Storm Uri passed through the South, and caused more than 20,000 Brunswick Electric outages in the county; crews have been and continue restoring power. Because of the outages, Brunswick County Schools canceled classes today for all students and staff.
An estimated 50 homes sustained damage, according to officials. The tornado did the most destruction to the golf community of Ocean Ridge Plantation, though homes in the Sea Village subdivision also incurred harm. Search and rescue teams are on the scene.
Traffic on Highway 17 at 904, near the Circle K gas station and McDonald’s, is being rerouted to Old Shallotte Highway. Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office confirms, due to downed power lines, Highway 17 north bound is closed from Thomasboro to Ocean Isle Beach roads.
According to the county, emergency crews, officers and firefighters are onsite to offer assistance to residents who have been injured or have damages to their properties. A temporary emergency shelter has opened to help displaced individuals: 910-253-5383.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington will assess the situation later today to confirm tornadic activity.
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Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington.
When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.