08/08/11 — Tornado hits part of Wilson Saturday

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Tornado hits part of Wilson Saturday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 8, 2011 1:46 PM

WILSON COUNTY -- No injuries were reported Saturday after a small tornado packing top winds estimated at 85 miles per hour damaged several turkey houses and downed trees and power lines in the Frank Price Church Road area just south of U.S. 264 near Black Creek.

Bradley McLamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, confirmed that a Saturday morning storm spawned an EF0 tornado -- the lowest on the Enhanced Fujita Scale for tornado intensity -- that was on the ground for about five minutes.

Most of the damage was minor, siding off a house and a carport that was blown away, said Gordon Deno, coordinator of Wilson County Emergency Management.

"There was nothing that would render a house uninhabitable," he said. "Although the man did say he would love to find his carport."

Since most of the damage was minor, no damage estimates were prepared, he said. One turkey house was destroyed, but Deno said he did not have a value.

The storm that struck Wilson County had earlier dumped heavy rains on Raleigh and collided with a weak cold front as it moved into Wilson County that provided just enough energy to generate the tornado, McLamb said.

"(The tornado) was somewhat abnormal because the environmental conditions were not overly favorable," he said.

The tornado first touched down about 11:25 near Frank Price Church Road and was on the ground for about five minutes. The final report was on Pelt Road where several turkey houses were reported damaged, McLamb said.

The storm's path was 50 to 100 yards wide and about 3 miles long, he said.

Deno said that the Code Red warning system used in the county had alerted people in the area about the storm.