Winter Storm Boreas continues to cause damage and major travel delays as it moves east, with the National Weather Service confirming that winds from the storm spurring an EF-2 tornado to strike the southeastern portion of the North Carolina coast Tuesday night.
The tornado, which packed winds between 111 to 135 miles per hour, caused damage to a condominium complex in Atlantic Beach, and officials say three people suffered minor injuries when the roof blew off. The building sustained major structural damage, WRAL reports.
"It almost looks like something you'd see on the news in the Midwest," Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder told WITN, adding he had never seen anything this severe in the 16 years he has worked in the area.
A tornado watch in the area expired at 8 a.m., the Associated Press reports. "A storm survey crew is out there now. It's going to take a little time this morning. We've gotten plenty of reports of structural damage," meteorologist Lara Pagano with the weather service office in Morehead City said Wednesday.
Carteret Community College also sustained damage. One student was hit with flying debris but was not seriously injured. "Right now we are closing the campus to only essential workers involved in recovery and cleanup," Kerry Youngblood, the school’s president, said. "Safety is our main concern. There's a lot of debris and some power lines are down."
Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City also reported some minor damage but remained fully functional. Trees and power lines were down causing thousands of power outages in the area. The last time a major tornado tore through North Carolina was in 2011. More than 40 people were killed and 130 injured when tornadoes damaged homes, stores and trees.
The massive Winter Storm Boreas continued to wreck havoc on Wednesday, causing major Thanksgiving traffic delays, with snow, ice and heavy rains along the East Coast and the Southern United States.
"The timing of the storm couldn't be worse," Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., told the Weather Channel. "We are seeing numerous threats as the storm is beginning to develop and intensify."
Air travel may be the most affected with long delays in major airports in Philadelphia and New York. Those traveling by car will also feel the effects on the road.
According to AAA, of the 43 million people traveling over the long holiday weekend, about 39 million people will be on the roads.
"We have 3-5 inches of snowfall in Buffalo this morning,” meteorologist Reynolds Wolf, reporting from that update New York locale said. The Adirondacks are expecting 1 to 3 inches of snow and the Appalachians may get as much as 5 inches.
But the good news is Boreas’ speed. "The good news is Boreas is moving fast," meteorologist Stephanie Abrams said. "By tonight it will mostly be done."