NWS confirms tornado

Published 7:59 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AHOSKIE – Although weak in strength, a tornado did briefly touch down near here July 3.

In their post storm report released July 8, officials with the National Weather Service Office in Wakefield, VA confirmed that a class EF0 twister was to blame for damage in Hertford County, northwest of the Brantley’s Grove community.

That tornado was associated with one of the outer bands of Hurricane Arthur that caused widespread damage along North Carolina’s coastal counties.

Hertford County Emergency Management Director Chris Smith said the short-lived tornado resulted in damage to a home on Hall Siding Road. There, the front porch of the home was blown into the back yard, the roof of a garage collapsed on top of parked vehicles, and there was damage to the roof shingles. There was another carport on the property that was torn from its foundation and blown into a nearby wooded area.

Smith said no one was at the residence at the time of the incident.

A tobacco field along Saludia Hall Road, located near Hall Siding Road, suffered damage. Smith said it appeared a tornado struck that field.

He reported the damage to the National Weather Service. EF0 (the EF scale is 0-5) is the lowest category. It is capable of producing winds between 65-85 mph, enough to damage small barns and outbuildings. Well-built structures are typically unscathed, sometimes sustaining broken windows, with minor damage to roofs and chimneys. Billboards and large signs can be knocked down. Trees may have large branches broken off, and can be uprooted if they have shallow roots, according to the National Weather Service.

The vast majority of tornadoes are designated EF1 or EF0, also known as “weak” tornadoes. However, weak is a relative term for tornadoes, as even these can cause significant damage. F0 and F1 tornadoes are typically short-lived—since 1980 almost 75 percent of tornadoes rated weak stayed on the ground for one mile or less.

As far as the continuing work by NCDOT along the Outer Banks in the wake of Hurricane Arthur, those efforts are continuing.

NCDOT said that motorists travelling the southern portion of N.C. 12 in Dare County this week can expect to see a flurry of activity as crews conduct necessary work following the storm.

Crews will close one lane on the Bonner Bridge during daylight hours, Monday, July 14, through Thursday, July 17. The closure is necessary to allow crews to safely take some samples as part of the department’s ongoing monitoring of the bridge.

NCDOT crews will also be removing large amounts of the marsh grass within the right of way that was washed up during the storm surge. Additionally they will work to rebuild the dunes along N.C. 12 between the south ferry dock and the Pony Pens on Ocracoke Island. This work will be ongoing for two to three weeks, depending on the weather.

As of Thursday evening, July 10, two lanes of traffic are now open on the northern end of PeaIsland at the temporary bridge. A permanent bridge is under construction at this location, and an on-site detour is being built to limit disruption to traffic during the construction. When the on-site detour is paved, the section damaged by Hurricane Arthur will also be repaved. That work will likely take place in the next couple weeks. NCDOT placed gravel at the damaged location to quickly restore traffic after the storm.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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