National Weather Service confirms EF 1 tornado for Bath

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 8:26 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:51 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - As the cleanup efforts continue throughout the east after Hurricane Isaias, residents in Beaufort County are among those hit hardest after high winds damaged homes along the river. The same storm responsible for this confirmed tornado could also be tied to the one that impacted Windsor in Bertie County.

Residents in Bath were picking up the pieces caused by Hurricane Isaias early Tuesday morning. Powerlines and trees have fallen on cars and homes leaving devastating damage for such a small community.

One lane on Bayview Road is washed out by the storm, but the most extensive damage was in the Rest Haven Road area where residents say it felt like a tornado came through somewhere around 1:30 in the morning. Late Tuesday, the National Weather Service out of Newport confirmed an EF-1 tornado moved through the area with peak winds of 105 mph.

A tornado associated with Hurricane Isaias formed just offshore over the Pamlico River, and then moved over a small waterfront community off of Rest Haven Road east of Bayview. The tornado snapped, twisted, or uprooted numerous trees, the majority of them pine. Several trees fell partially on homes which caused damage to a few roofs, walls, and vehicles. The tornado then continued northward, downing or snapping several trees along Rest Haven Road. Then as the tornado reached NC 99, several more trees were seriously damaged, snapped, or uprooted in the vicinity of a few homes. There was also minor damage to a manufactured home and a small shed had its roof blown off. After passing north of NC 99, the tornado continued to cause damage to the tops of several more trees before dissipating in a large field.

US National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC

There are countless trees that have snapped and crashed through porches and patios. Windshields and truck beds are smashed and collapsed. A number of the residents were home when the destructive winds began and said it sounded like a train was coming through. Fortunately, there hasn’t been any reports of injuries, but many of these homes are actually first-generation homes passed down to their families after World War II.

One resident said the aftermath looked like an explosion.

Megan Blackwell says, “This was shocking. To come down the highway and everything looked fine, and to get to this specific road, it was kind of like a bomb went off. I mean, it wasn’t like trees being knocked over by a hurricane, it was like trees being ripped out by sheer violence.”

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