EF-2 Tornado Confirmed In Emerald Isle

Sep 10, 2019

A tornado with max winds of 115 mph damaged several homes and businesses in Emerald Isle and Stella Thursday.
Credit NWS Newport

Meteorologists say an EF-2 tornado touched down in Emerald Isle during Hurricane Dorian last Thursday, damaging numerous homes and businesses.   Assessment teams determined the tornado had maximum winds of 115 mph and caused significant damage to an RV park in Emerald Isle, according to Erik Heden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C.

"A lot of those RVs were completely destroyed, some were rolled many feet.  The next neighborhood over had some metal roofing that was peeled away, but the most concise, severe damage was to the RV park."

The tornado's path continued for approximately 13 miles, crossing Bogue Sound and damaging homes in Stella.  Strong tornadoes during tropical cyclones, like the EF-2 that hit Emerald Isle during Hurricane Dorian, are rare. 

“Usually, we see weaker tornadoes with tropical systems,” said Heden.  “They tend to be on the EF-0 to EF-1 range.  We really try to emphasize that any landfalling cyclone, not just a hurricane but a tropical storm, can produce tornadoes.”

Assessment teams are still working to confirm reports of tornadoes in several Eastern North Carolina counties associated with Hurricane Dorian.