Nov 16, 2006
COLUMBUS County, North Carolina -- A tornado touched down this morning just west of Riegelwood, and at least nine people are dead and seven more injured, Sheriff Chris Batten said.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center reports four children are in critical condition, one is in stable condition and two adults also are injured. More people are feared dead and dogs and rescue workers are still searching for missing people, said emergency worker Lillian Graham. The mobile home neighborhood is located off Pretty Branch Road near Old Lake Road. A brick house was also destroyed down to the foundation, Graham said.
The tornado demolished a mobile home area and removed possibly five or six mobile homes from their foundations, Batten said.
Marietta Brown lives in that area. She said she felt her home shake and her garage was pulled off her home. Trees and power lines are down in the area, and some people are without electricity.
Drivers are cautioned to slow down if they are traveling on U.S. 74/76 toward Whiteville. Conditions are very windy and visibility is low.
A tornado also reportedly touched down in the West Prong area, also in Columbus County, but no major damage has been reported. Acme-Delco Elementary School and Acme-Delco Middle School are closed. Acme-Delco Elementary also is serving as an command post for emergency workers and for families seeking information about their loved ones.