MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Hurricane Dorian has weakened, but on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the storm has left flooding in its wake. Some residents who defied mandatory evacuation orders were surprised by the high water and had to be rescued. Farther south in the small town of Carolina Shores, residents were prepared for the hurricane, but they did not expect a tornado, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports.
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: This morning, Mike Terry walked out of his damaged house and hugged a neighbor.
MIKE TERRY: The house can be replaced. We're alive. We're alive.
BRADY: Terry says he was having coffee in the living room when the tornado came through his neighborhood early Thursday morning.
TERRY: I just heard this noise, and I just jumped up and got my wife out of bed. She ducked down right as the window blew out. I don't know how I didn't get a scratch on me. Must be an act of God that I didn't get a scratch on me.
BRADY: Thirteen-year-old Madison Concalve says she saw the tornado.
MADISON CONCALVE: All of a sudden, I hear - like, it sounds like an airplane. And I'm like, is there an airplane going, like, around - like, above my house? And I look outside, and there is a tornado right there across my pond.
BRADY: Concalve says her house is fine, but she keeps thinking about the scary image of the twister.
MADISON: It was pulling debris. It was, like, shooting it out and pulling it in. I'm looking, and all of a sudden, I see pine trees, part of it, like, flying out. And lots of leaves, too - some siding as well that were from other people's houses.
BRADY: The tornado's path through this neighborhood is clearly marked. Some houses are untouched. And next door, windows are blown out; the roof has collapsed, exposing bare lumber and insulation. Work trucks line the streets.
(SOUNDBITE OF TOOL DRILLING)
BRADY: Workers are installing a blue tarp on Carmine Sardella's roof.
CARMINE SARDELLA: Somebody's - probably somebody's roof came in and slammed down on top of my roof. I had a opening - about a 10 foot long by about 5, 6 feet wide. So they're securing it watertight until the insurance company comes and we can argue it out.
(SOUNDBITE OF HAMMER POUNDING)
BRADY: One street over, sisters Kate Hale and Jane Keller are waiting for a contractor to show up.
JANE KELLER: Part of the roof separated, and we've lost probably 60% of the siding.
BRADY: The sisters say a bedroom and the living room were still OK, so neighbors who had even more damage stayed with them last night. When workers show up, the sisters will have to leave. They're looking for a place that will accept their three elderly cats, too.
Carolina Shores' mayor Joyce Dunn was out talking with residents and surveying how many houses were damaged.
JOYCE DUNN: Somewhere around 50 houses. At least 20 of them are uninhabitable, maybe more. And the rest have got serious but probably manageable damage.
BRADY: Carolina Shores, population 4,500, is a couple miles inland. People here weren't expecting damage from this storm.
DUNN: We've never had a tornado hit here. I've been here 17 years. So we know about hurricanes, and we were ready for hurricanes, but not for tornadoes.
BRADY: Dunn says she's thankful Hurricane Dorian didn't bring flooding here. She says it'll be difficult enough to repair damage from the tornado.
Jeff Brady, NPR News, Carolina Shores, N.C.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.