By WECT Staff | February 25, 2021 at 10:59 AM EST – Updated February 25 at 12:17 PM
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Governor Roy Cooper has signed a state of emergency declaration after a violent EF-3 tornado killed three people, injured ten, and damaged or destroyed nearly 60 homes in Brunswick County last week.
While Brunswick County commissioners already enacted a state of emergency, Cooper’s declaration authorizes and directs the North Carolina Department of Transportation to use its resources to clear vegetative storm debris from along roads in the affected area. It also allows the state to seek reimbursement for storm-related costs.
“The tornado caused significant damage, even demolishing some homes. I heard harrowing stories from survivors who were glad to be alive. The state will marshal all available resources to help people recover,” Cooper stated in a news release.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado initially touched down as an EF-0 with 80 mph winds near Sunset Beach. By the time it reached Ocean Ridge, the tornado had strengthened to an EF-3 with 160 mph winds, making it one of the strongest tornados to ever hit southeastern North Carolina.
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