More than a dozen people were taken to hospitals and an estimated 200 homes were severely damaged or destroyed following multiple tornado touchdowns in Eastern North Carolina on Friday. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado touched down in Beaufort county. Other EF-2 tornadoes hit Beaufort and Pitt counties. Some of the worst damage was experienced in Chocowinity - a town of about 800 people, considered part of 'Little' Washington area.
Carolyn Tyson had just sat down to eat dinner with her husband Jerry, when a neighbor called and told them a tornado was coming. The Tysons looked out their back deck and saw the twister heading straight toward them.
"We ran down the stairs and dove under a table in the lower part of a house," said 67-year-old Carolyn. "And as soon as we got under the table the noise was so bad you couldn't even hear yourself scream. And the house just started caving in and I felt myself just lift up off the floor. And if my husband hadn't been holding on to me it probably would have sucked me out."
Carolyn and Jerry were not injured. However one neighbor suffered a heart attack. Another neighbor was cut severely from debris. Both were taken to hospitals and their conditions were not immediately available.
"If he hadn't been holding onto me I don't know what would have happened. And we were prayin'. And he told me 'I love you, this is probably it for us'," described Carolyn.
The couple slept for a few hours in a truck that had been damaged by the tornado. On Saturday, family and friends were helping them to remove valuables and salvage some possessions.
The Tysons were two of hundreds of people affected by the severe weather. A tornado touched down for about 10 miles, ripping through several neighborhoods. With winds as fast as 135 miles per hour the tornado tossed boats and cars, while sending houses off of their foundations. There were multiple tornado touchdowns and quarter-sized hail in this rural area.
"It's just going to take time. I just don't know if I'm strong enough to get through this. I'm trying to be. I'm trying real hard."