A waterspout may have come ashore about 6:45 p.m. Thursday in the coastal North Carolina town of Emerald Isle, according to TV station WCIT and other news outlets.
The National Weather Service tweeted Friday that “damage was reported in Emerald Isle...along Eastview Drive,” but investigators did not officially declared the cause as a waterspout or tornado.
“We will be taking a look at this area this morning and will have any reports out this afternoon,” said the tweet.
NWS officials said later in the day that the damage appeared to have been created by “straight line winds,” rather than the rotating winds associated with a tornado.
Waterspouts are defined as “tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water,” according to the National Weather Service.
The Carteret County News-Times is reporting “a small waterspout touched down briefly” and caused minor damage at a recreational vehicle park near the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington has confirmed a tornado did touch down an hour early in Wilmington’s Oxford Place community, about 80 miles south of Emerald Isle. The tornado, which hit about 5 p.m., had maximum winds of about 85 miles per hour, NWS officials said.
Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding were reported along coastal North Carolina Thursday night, and the National Weather Service in Morehead City issued tornado warnings for multiple towns near the Pamlico Sound, including East Lake, Fairfield and Engelhard.
Waterspouts created during severe thunderstorms “can cause significant damages and injuries to people,” according to the NWS.