National Weather Service confirms EF1 tornado landed near Bethel on Monday


The National Weather Service in Newport has just confirmed a tornado hit near Bethel Monday evening.

The NWS said the tornado was an EF1, with winds on the low end of 80-90 mph. It made landfall at around 7:25 p.m., was 100 yards wide and cleared a path of about .5 miles.

The NWS said reports came in that what looked to be a tornado hit the ground between Bethel and Stokes on Hwy. 30, near the intersection of Whitehurst Station Road. One building, a storage barn, appeared to have significant damage. Two other buildings suffered minor damage and power was knocked out in the area.

The NWS said that in addition to the storage barn and building damage, there were some snapped hardwood trees and other debris. The tornado moves across a crop field, where it lifted multiple times before moving into a field of trees, where additional trees were knocked down, blocking the nearby train tracks.

There were no injuries.

A Tornado Warning was issued for parts of Martin County until 8:30 p.m. The warning, which included Pitt County, has since been canceled for both counties. The National Weather Service has yet to formally declare a tornado has struck Pitt County and will send investigators out into the field to determine if that was indeed the case.

The NWS issued the tornado warning for the north central part of Pitt County and southwestern Martin County around 7:30 p.m. Monday. Officials at the NWS said a tornado producing storms was located along a line extending from 11 miles north of the Pitt-Greenville Airport to near Robersonville.

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