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Brunswick County officials start damage assessments after a deadly tornado

At a press conference on Tuesday, February 16th, Brunswick County officials announced three fatalities and ten injuries as a result of a tornado that touched down late Monday evening. Now that they’ve completed search and rescue operations, it’s on to damage assessments.

Ocean Ridge Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach was one of the neighborhoods with some of the most severe damage. Homes were demolished; debris was littered across their golf course, and there were downed trees and power lines. 

Areas around Old Shallotte Road, and utility and commercial infrastructure off Highway 17, also experienced devastation from the tornado. 

Ed Conrow is the emergency services director for Brunswick County. He says it’ll be a while until things get back to normal.

“This is going to be a long-term recovery; we still have a lot of damage in that area. We have a lot of safety concerns, so we’re encouraging people to stay out unless they’re a resident or a worker in that area. We’re going to set-up access points under control of the Sheriff’s Office.”

Conrow says they’re working with the American Red Cross to set-up a reception center for residents to find ways to access food and long-term shelter. 

  • Click here to view the Brunswick County press conference on Tuesday, February 16th at noon. 
  • If you'd like to receive emergency updates from Brunswick County, click here
  • Brunswick County has opened a temporary shelter for individuals displaced from the storm. If you need assistance or shelter, call 910-253-5383.
  • To follow the power outages in Brunswick County, click here
  • Check here for the county's school closings.