Tornado touches down in Sampson Co., warnings issued elsewhere

Autryville Fire Department damage (WTVD photo)

NEW BERN, Craven County - A tornado warning was issued for parts of Duplin, Tyrrell and Dare counties Tuesday evening. A tornado also touched down in Sampson County, according to officials.

The warnings were issued until 6:30 p.m. Earlier, a tornado was confirmed to have touched down in Sampson County. There's also a flash flood watch for coastal Pender County.

Officials in a North Carolina county say a tornado has destroyed a fire department. The Fayetteville Observer reports Sampson County Emergency Management said the Autryville Fire Department was destroyed by a tornado on Tuesday. Reports indicate the roof of the fire station was ripped off the building, and all but one of the trucks are covered with rubble.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado with winds of 110 mph touched down in Sampson County. The Red Cross was on the scene to provide assistance in Autryville. Assistant County Manager Susan Holder said there were "multiple touchdowns." Additional reports indicate there was damage at a mobile home park near Autryville, which is 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) south of Raleigh. A state of emergency has been declared for Autryville. The National Weather Service also reported property damage from thunderstorms in Robeson County. According to the weather service, two barns were damaged from high winds on a rural road in Robeson County.

In Tyrrell County, damage came in the form of trees down and some crop damage. No tornado was reported to have touched down there.

From @NWSMoreheadCity: Public reports trees down, crops flattened, tops of trees damaged near Gum Neck in Tyrrell Co. from earlier Tstorm

-- Sam Walker OBX?????? (@SamWalkerOBX) May 23, 2017

Go to for the latest weather information.

Click below for photos of tornado damage in Sampson County via WTVD. Click here to see more.

The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off