This week marks the 22nd anniversary of the strongest and deadliest tornado to ever hit Eastern North Carolina. The devastating tornado outbreak slammed North and South Carolina on March 28, 1984.
The outbreak produced 22 tornadoes that killed 57 people, including 42 in North Carolina. Records show another 800 people were hurt. Lyman Hardee was chief of the Eastern Pines Fire Department when the storm hit.
He says it was a shock when it happened. "You hear it everywhere else but not here. When it hit I think everyone was just so surprised. I was,” says Hardee.
Those tornadoes changed the way the National Weather Service issued warnings, making them a top priority.