Tornado

ATHD
Dave DeWitt

Updated February 25 at 7:00 a.m.: Strong winds damaged 10 buildings in Granville County yesterday afternoon and overnight. Trees fell on some homes in Northern Durham County. A roof was blown off a mobile home in Wayne County.

A picture of a house damged by a tornado.
Blair Busby

Victims of severe storms and tornadoes that swept through 12 coastal counties in late April are eligible for federal disaster relief loans, if they turn in their applications today.

Business and homeowners, and renters, can apply for loans of varying levels from the Small Business Association. Interest rates are from 2 to 3 percent and can be paid off over 30 years.

Jay MacKenna of the SBA says these loans cover physical and property damage.

A picture of the Fishing Pier at Ocean Isle Beach, NC.
Pubdog / Wikipedia

Forecasters say the worst is over, at least for the Triangle. The cold front, which blew damaging winds and heavy rain is headed toward the ocean.

On Tuesday, a tornado damaged homes and trees near Stedman. Some areas between Fayetteville and Wilson saw more than four inches of rain.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Brandon Dunstan said things will quiet down later today.

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

A picture of a house damged by a tornado.
Blair Busby

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.

The ReadyNC app is for Android and iPhone
State of NC

There's a new app for Iphone and Android that could help North Carolinians in this week's winter weather. It's called ReadyNC.

This app does not replace 9-1-1. Rather, it's a place to look for local weather or road conditions, or to find a local shelter if needed.  The app is even designed to offer real-time flood conditions on local waterways.

The app launched not long ago, so this will be its first big test.

If you search for the app on iTunes or the Apple App Sotre, look for "ReadyNC" (No space.)

Links:

National Weather Service

Three people have sustained minor injuries after a tornado hit the North Carolina coast. The roof blew of an Atlantic Beach condo, with a couple inside, and flying debris hit a Carteret Community College student.

The National Weather Service office in Morehead City issued a tornado warning last night. Forecaster Lara Pagano said a water spout moved onto land.

Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen respond to a devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., May 20, 2013.
Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James, OK National Guard

North Carolina's Attorney General is warning state residents to not be swindled in the wake of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy.  Roy Cooper says he understands that there are many North Carolinians who want to help the people of Oklahoma, but he urges people to do their homework because there are scammers who see the Midwestern tragedy as an opportunity to take your money.

2010 tornado in Iredell County, NC
England / Flickr

A new tornado app from the American Red Cross is out this week. Available in both English and Spanish, it gives users instant access to local, real-time information on severe weather alerts and warnings. Barry Porter from Triangle Red Cross says it's linked directly to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh says much of central and western North Carolina are under a hazardous weather outlook for Wednesday.
National Weather Service / noaa.gov

Snow in the forecast Wednesday is a reminder that bad weather can hit North Carolina at any time.  This is severe weather awareness week across the state and officials are urging the public to be prepared.  Meteorologist Nick Petro says a statewide tornado drill will take place Wednesday morning.

A Raleigh man is getting a national honor for his work in the aftermath of last April's deadly tornadoes. Al Mignacci will receive the U.S. Small Business Administration's "Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer."

One year ago today, tornadoes tore across North Carolina leaving death and damage in their wake. While many areas are continuing to recover, some have made the long journey back, better than ever. 

Gurnal Scott: April 16th 2011, much of North Carolina got an up close and personal look at Mother Nature’s fury.

Weather Service: The National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued a Tornado Warning for Northern Nash County, Northeastern Franklin County.

Emergency management officials are encouraging businesses and citizens to create safety plans for severe weather.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year North Carolina had 63 tornadoes touch down, more than double the state's annual average. Julia Jarema is with the department of public safety. She says each year there are thousands of severe weather warnings throughout the state. And she adds, knowing what to do before the weather moves through is a critical step:

Clean-up continues in Davidson county where two people died following a tornado on Wednesday.

At least 11 people were taken to the hospital following the severe storms. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down near Lexington just after 6pm. Major Larry James is with Davidson County Emergency Services. He says the path of the tornado was tight, but caused some significant damage.

Larry James: Preliminary figures look like somewhere between 35 and 50 structures with some varying degree of damage.

The City of Fayetteville wants the remaining damaged homes from the April 16th tornadoes cleaned up. The twisters that swept across the state left thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. Scott Shuford, Fayetteville's Development Services Director, says they've identified 85 homes in need of extensive cleanup or repair four months after the storms hit. He says they don't have any jurisdiction to do anything about homes that are just eye-sores.

Victims of North Carolina's April tornadoes are entering their last week to apply for disaster aid. The Federal Emergency Management Administration extended the deadline from last week to July 5th. The extension came after the state said less than a quarter of victims who claimed they needed assistance had submitted applications. Officials also added Alamance County to the list of North Carolina disaster areas last week. North Carolina Emergency Management spokeswoman Julia Jarema says some residents are still assessing the damage done to their homes.

An elementary school in Fayetteville that was damaged by an April 16th tornado could reopen sooner than expected. One of the strongest tornadoes that touched down that day blew much of the roof off Ben Martin Elementary School. No one was injured in the incident. Students have been going to class at two other schools nearby. Administrators said they hoped to get students back to Ben Martin by December. But principal Crystal Brown says they now expect to move in at the end of October.

A Lowe's home improvement store in Sanford all but leveled by the April 16th tornados will be rebuilt. Construction will begin May 25th at the same site where Lowe's employees rushed customers to safety as the tornados approached. Bob Bridwell is the Director of Planning and Development for Sanford and Lee County.

Bob Bridwell: "Lowes is the symbol of our storm damage here in Lee County. It's also the symbol of our recovery. So seeing this come back to life for the rest of the town I think is extremely important."

Debris from last month's tornadoes that hit central North Carolina is still being cleaned up. In Raleigh, officials are advising residents to get the rest of their yard debris out to the curb by June first. There is also an effort by city workers to clear streams and rivers of downed trees that could contribute to flooding. Steve Abbot works for the state Department of Transportation. He says contractors are still collecting debris outside of Raleigh as well. 

Raleigh will host a benefit concert for tornado victims. The city hopes to raise money to give to charities, including the Salvation Army and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.  

The “Rise Up Raleigh concert” will include 11 bands and take place at the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater - just 200 yards north of a spot where one of the tornadoes touched down.

Home and business owners who file insurance claims in the wake of last weekend's storm and have a dispute with their insurer could be eligible for a state mediation program. 

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin activated the program earlier this week in anticipation of problems as many people put in claims for storm damage. 

Spokeswoman Kerry Hall from the state Department of Insurance says her office is starting to get calls from people with questions:

Students of Ben Martin Elementary School in Fayetteville are back in class after a tornado devastated the campus last weekend. Forecasters say one of Saturday's fiercest tornadoes touched down in Cumberland County with maximum winds of 140 miles per hour. Damages to Ben Martin Elementary could be more than $5 million. Principal Crystal Brown surveyed the school grounds on the day of the storm.

President Obama has declared disaster areas in central and eastern North Carolina. Residents in 18 counties can apply for disaster relief funds today on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler toured several eastern counties yesterday to get a handle on the damage. He says most of the damage was to infrastructure, equipment and livestock. And that will be expensive for farmers to replace.

All flags will be placed at half-staff for the remainder of the work week at state government and university buildings.

Shaw University's historic marker propped on the ground after storm.
Leoneda Inge

  Clean-up crews and emergency management teams are working over-time in a 20 county area of the state.  This is where most of the damage occurred after those deadly and destructive tornadoes over the weekend.

In Wake County – officials are already beginning to put a price tag on the cost of the damage. 

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