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Storms Spawn Eastern North Carolina Twisters

November 17, 1988

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Tornadoes and waterspouts roared through three eastern counties Thursday, ripping roofs off houses, destroying some mobile homes and slightly injuring one person, authorities said.

Twisters were spotted in Currituck, Tyrrell and Washington counties. A tornado warning was issued for Dare County, although no damage was reported there.

Randy Spear of Creswell said he heard wind, then saw branches and small trees fly through the air just before he spotted the tornado.

″I grabbed my dog and ran toward the center bathroom in the house, and as I left the den, the back window just caved in,″ Spear said. He said he and his Labrador retriever, Fanci, were unhurt.

Spear said the twister blew out the windows in the back of his home and tossed four trees onto his roof.

The twister blew the roofs of two other houses, destroyed four mobile homes and damaged three others in the Creswell area, said Linda Spruill, a sheriff’s deputy. She said 75 to 80 trees were blown onto U.S. 64, and many of them knocked down power lines.

More than 1,000 customers were without electricity, an official of North Carolina power said. North Carolina Power hoped to restore power to the area by the end of the day, said C.B. Davis, operations supervisor. ′

A woman was treated at Chowan Hospital in Edenton for minor injuries after her mobile home was destroyed by a tornado, the hospital said.

Some small tornadoes and waterspouts were reported over the northern beaches of the Outer Banks and the Currituck Sound, the National Weather Service said.

A waterspout raged ashore at Point Harbor in Currituck County, throwing a construction trailer into a bulldozer and ripping the roof off a warehouse.

A tornado blew over a mobile home and tore the roofs off some other buildings in Point Harbor, but no injuries were reported, the weather service said.

In Tyrrell County, three mobile homes and a house were destroyed by tornado-like wind, said Buddy Swain, an emergency management coordinator in Columbia. About 200 trees and a number of power lines were knocked down in the storm, but no injuries were reported.

The wind was spawned by thunderstorms moving through eastern North Carolina, the weather service said.

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