In Photos: At least 60 homes damaged from EF3 tornado in Brunswick County

Homeowners look at their Ocean Ridge Plantation home. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands) Click on the photo to open the gallery.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY – For neighbors of Ocean Ridge Plantation and the surrounding areas, the events of late Monday night are just now beginning to sink in. At least 60 properties were damaged in the EF3 storm that struck southern Brunswick County on Monday right after 11:30 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, wind speeds clocked in at 165 mph, as several homes were completely demolished with all four walls ripped away. At one house, all debris was cleared, with only the foundation spared.

Related: Brunswick County tornado a ‘long-term recovery,’ search and rescue complete


Spawned from Winter Storm Uri, the tornado initially landed around Kingsmill Court in the Sea Trail Golf Resort near Sunset Beach, with up to 80 mph winds. It tore through numerous trees.

The vortex intensified as it traveled northeast. It cut across a swampland north of Old Georgetown Road as gusts built up to 115 mph. The twister annihilated a large metal building, according to the weather service, and capsized multiple RVs once it got to Seaside Road.

At that point, it persisted northeastward, crossing Saw Pit Swamp and infiltrating Ocean Ridge Plantation. It wreaked havoc on Cambria Court and Windsor Circle, among other streets. The tornado’s power then peaked and managed to destroy brick homes, according to the national weather service.

The storm advanced toward Highway 17 and swept through the main entrance of Ocean Ridge Plantation. It rolled over and battered a double-wide mobile home on the north side of the roadway. Wind speeds were estimated to be 110 mph by that point.

Hundreds of trees were toppled along the tornado’s path, which stretched northeastward through woodlands to Green Bay Road, storm survey crews noted. There was “unusual damage” to leaning, large metal power poles that, according to the weather service, could only have been the fault of winds up to 115 mph.

The disaster marks the deadliest tornado in southeastern North Carolina since the Riegelwood tornado of November 2006, which killed eight people in Columbus County.

The damage left in its wake will require “long-term recovery,” the county director of emergency services said during a press conference Tuesday. Search and rescue efforts have wrapped, and officials are now assessing the damage and assisting with recovery efforts.

On Wednesday Brunswick County chair Randy Thompson declared a state of emergency in response to the tornado. Workers were busy throughout the plantation, hammering on roofs and hauling debris.

Gov. Roy Cooper toured the site and news reporters were allowed in the subdivision on Wednesday to document the damages in daylight for the first time. Port City Daily will fully report on the governor’s visit at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17.

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Work commences on the recovery of Ocean Ridge Plantation after a tornado traveled through the community. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Workers were clearing debris Wednesday in Ocean Ridge Plantation. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Ocean Ridge Plantation endured a tornado that left numerous homes damaged. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Gov. Roy Cooper and Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Ed Conrow visit Ocean Ridge Plantation to survey the tornado destruction. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Multiple mailboxes were taken out by the strong gusts. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
The tornado downed hundreds of trees, according to the National Weather Service. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
An “exceptionally powerful” tornado destroyed brick homes. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Gov. Roy Cooper and news reporters visit Ocean Ridge Plantation post-tornado. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Homes in Ocean Ridge Plantation were destroyed in the Feb. 15 tornado. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Landscapers clear truck-loads of debris from Ocean Ridge Plantation Wednesday. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
As several homes suffered complete destruction, the National Weather Services is concluding that wind speeds reached 165 mph. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
The havoc caused by the tornado Monday will require a “long-term recovery,” a county official stated. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Homeowners are thankful for their lives after surviving a powerful tornado at Ocean Ridge Plantation. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Ocean Ridge Plantation endured the deadliest tornado in the southeastern part of the state since 2006. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
The tornado was categorized as an EF3. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
The storm devastated multiple homes. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Random items were thrown from homes as the tornado passed through the area. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Ocean Ridge Plantation residents reflect after the tornado. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Ocean Ridge Plantation is starting to rebuild after Monday’s storm. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
An uprooted tree sits in the middle of an Ocean Ridge Plantation cul-de-sac. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
A garage door is crushed after Monday night’s storm. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
The Brunswick County tornado went through Ocean Ridge Plantation, Highway 17 and surrounding areas. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Brunswick County declared a state of emergency Wednesday in response to the tornado. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
Debris and belongings are scattered across the Ocean Isle Beach area. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)
A car sits in a destroyed Ocean Ridge Plantation home. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)

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