12th Tornado Victim In Bertie County Dies

Bertie County authorities say a 12th victim from Saturday's tornado has died.

It was confirmed this morning that Mary Williams, age 50 of Morris Ford Road, Colerain had died.

The 50-year-old woman was the fourth person who lived on Morris Ford Road to die in the storm. She was in a family care home where two other people also died.

Williams was a resident at Moore's Family Care Home and had been in Pitt County Memorial Hospital since Saturday night in critical condition.

The latest fatality brings the statewide death toll to 24 victims.

At a morning news conference Governor Beverly Perdue said there are at least 133 people with series injuries, at least 440 homes destroyed, at least 6189 homes with significant damage, at least 21 businesses destroyed, and at least 92 businesses badly damaged from the tornadoes.

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The National Weather Service says at least 25 tornadoes touched down across the state this past weekend, making it North Carolina's most active outbreak on record.

Meteorologist Ryan Ellis said Tuesday the event rivaled a 1984 outbreak that produced 22 tornadoes. The March 1984 event included more powerful systems and killed twice as many people but was largely isolated to the Interstate 95 corridor. Saturday's outbreak spread across more than half the state -- from near Winston-Salem to the Outer Banks.

The weather service says a preliminary count of Saturday's storms included five tornadoes that had winds between 136 and 165 mph. The longest-lasting tornado was one that traveled 63 miles through Sanford, Holly Springs and Raleigh. That storm had an estimated top speed of 160 mph.

There were 5 EF-3 tornadoes, three of those were here in Eastern Carolina. Those were tornadoes that hit Colerain, Snow Hill and Jacksonville.

At least 23 people were killed in the storms, 11 of those in Colerain.

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