Early morning thunderstorms Monday rattled many people out of bed across the east. In Carteret County, fierce winds gave many boaters a rude awakening. Rick Maddox has spent a lot of time on the water, so he wasn't concerned thunderstorms were in the forecast Sunday night when he and his wife spent the night on their boat.
"I've ridden out a couple storms on my boat. I've never seen anything that came up out of nowhere like that," said Maddox.
Around 3:00 a.m. Monday morning 76 mph winds were recorded coming across the Beaufort draw bridge. The winds tore an 80-feet long yacht off of it's moorings and plowed it through a number of boats in the Town Creek inlet.
"He came through, hit my boat the Hardrock which hit another boat next to it, which hit another boat next to it, and they all end up right on shore," said Carl Cannon Jr. whose boat was hit by the yacht.
Cannon says it took them about 5 - 6 hours to get all the boats untangled and off of the shore.
"We got everything cleared off now except for the Waterworld. She sank and went into pieces," said Cannon.
An airplane hangar at the nearby Beaufort Airport was also destroyed.
Airport manager John Betts says it's been years since he's seen wind damage like this at the airport. He says luckily no airplanes were damaged. The hangar only had a car in it. The owner flew the plane that's normally in the hangar out of town a few days ago.
"The main priority will be clean up the mess because it's strewn all over the back of the hangars and down in the ditches and woods," said Betts.
Betts says some of the other hangars were damaged by the flying debris but they are all still in working condition.
Strong winds destroyed a hangar at the Michael Smith Airport in Beaufort early this morning.
The National Weather Service says an 82 mile per hour wind gust was recorded at the Harkers Island Drawbridge, while a 70 mile per hour gust was seen at the Beaufort Drawbridge.
No plane was in the airport hangar, as the owner flew out at the end of last week and left his car inside. That vehicle had its rear window broken out.
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