Brunswick County tornado live updates: 3 dead, 10 injured. 3,000 without power #BrunswickCounty

A tornado touched down early Tuesday in southern Brunswick County, killing three people, injuring 10 and damaging at least 50 homes. Here are our latest updates:

10:47 a.m. | Emergency response rescues those blocked by debris
A press conference is scheduled for noon to provide updates on the Brunswick County tornado event.
Brunswick County Emergency Services and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office will host the press conference to answer questions about their response efforts following the tornado that hit the Ocean Ridge Plantation neighborhood overnight, according to a press release from Brunswick County.

As of 10:45 a.m., there are three confirmed deaths and 10 people injured, no additional injuries or deaths have been identified since the county’s last update. All of those previously reported to be unable to leave their homes due to debris have since been rescued.

“Public safety teams are finishing their review of the neighborhood and are supporting evacuation efforts for individuals who are displaced due to the storm,” according to the release.

This press conference is anticipated to be the final press briefing, according to the release.

9:54 a.m. | Response team is clearing out the area

A regional response team was dispatched to the area between 1 and 2 a.m. Tuesday to look for missing people, according to Rebekah Thurston, the public information officer for the Wilmington Fire Department.

The response team is currently clearing out of the area.

The National Weather Service issued a serve thunderstorm warning around 11:33 p.m. Monday and six minutes later, issued a tornado warning at 11:39 p.m., said Dave Lowenthal, weather forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office. The office still doesn’t know what time the tornado touched down in southern Brunswick and are headed to the scene this morning to find out more information.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram told reporters at an early morning press conference that the damage was significant.

“This is something unlike I’ve ever seen,” Ingram said

When the office issues a weather alert, they turn toward their radars to determine strong areas of wind and whether there is wind rotation. If conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornados in or close to an area, a watch is issued, according to the National Weather Service. These are often issued up to six hours before a severe storm.

A warning is issued if a developing tornado has been detected by the National Weather Service’s doppler radar or has been reported on the ground by reliable sources. These are issued a few minutes to an hour before a severe storm.

Loewenthal said four to five minutes is usually enough time to take cover amid a tornado warning. According to the National Weather Service, this offers enough time to take shelter immediately such as in a basement if you are in a home or a designated shelter area if you are in a hospital or shopping center.

8:23 a.m. | 35,000 initially without power

According to Corey Thurlow from the Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, around 35,000 people were out of power after the tornado first hit.

By around 5 a.m. that number decreased to around 3,000 people out of power, which is still the case. The corporation is working with the county to continue to restore the remaining outages.

Thurlow didn’t have a concrete estimate for when the remaining 3,000 people will have their power restored but said based on the information he has, he expects it to be restored at some point tomorrow.

“But its really going to be based on that effort with the county to access damage and follow behind them,” he said.

8:03 a.m. | NWS survey team heading to area

A National Weather Service survey team will be heading to the area around 10 a.m. to find out more details about the tornado, said Dave Lowenthal, weather forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office.

“Other than the pictures we’ve seen in the media, we haven’t had a chance to do a survey yet,” he said.

Lowenthal said more information will be released this afternoon.

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