One year ago today, 24 people were killed and dozens more injured in the largest tornado outbreak in state history. There were 30 confirmed tornadoes on April 16, 2011 in North Carolina.
Several tornadoes tracked across Eastern Carolina. Four tornado supercells tracked across the area between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Twelve of the fatalities were in Bertie County, where and EF-3 tornado hit near Askewville and Colerain. About fifty people were injured there. The storm was on the ground for 19 miles, and it was three-quarters of a mile wide. Between 6:50 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., the giant tornado did tremendous damage.
There will be a candlelight vigil in Colerain tonight as the community looks back on that deadly day. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Colerain Elementary School.
Greene County still feels the effects of the tornado there each weekday. The storm all but destroyed Greene County Middle School in Snow Hill. Students are attending classes in mobile classrooms this year, while construction is underway to rebuild.
One of the tiniest survivors of the tornado continues to recover. Evan Salerno was not quite two years old when the storm hit. It ripped the roof off his home in Jacksonville, and pulled Evan out of his crib just moments before his mother went to get him from his room. He suffered serious injuries and spent months at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. He will be a featured child during the Children's Miracle Network Telethon this June.
More injuries were reported in the Falcon Ridge community of Craven County, between New Bern and Havelock. A tornado caused serious damage to several homes there. The Giossi Family had a close call; a tree crashed into the room where their baby boy was sleeping just moments before.
Wilson was also hit hard. A wall was ripped off a dry cleaners building at Forest Hills Rd. and Highway 42. Another unforgettable image was
an 18-wheeler on its side at a Walgreens. Multiple cars were piled on top of each other.