A tornado tore through coastal Brunswick County, North Carolina, early Tuesday, killing at least three people and injuring 10 others, authorities said Tuesday morning. The tornado touched down near Ocean Ridge Plantation, a beach community about 45 miles south of Wilmington, just after midnight, destroying houses, splitting trees in half, and downing power lines, leaving about 12,000 residents without power early Tuesday, NPR News reports.
"It's something like I have never seen before," said Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram. "A lot of destruction. It's going to be a long recovery process." Tanner Barth, a sports reporter for Wilmington's WWAY, shared some images of the destruction on social media.
Residents are still trapped in their homes, Brunswick County Emergency Management said, and search and rescue efforts will continue throughout Tuesday.