Tornado devastated the Carolinas 30 years ago
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 02:53:25 GMT —
On March 28,1984, an outbreak of F-4 tornadoes hit the Carolinas.
Officials reported 57 people were killed and more than 1,200 injured.
Some of the tornadoes were more than two miles wide.
Marlboro County was one of the hardest hit counties in our area.
Nine people died as a result of the storm.
Van Carlisle remembers it like it happened yesterday.
"7:05 on a Wednesday night, March 28. That's what time I came through McColl. I never will forget it. The trees look like match sticks broke. And it looked like a warzone," said Carlisle.
James Bethea was eight years old at the time.
When the storm rolled through Bennettsville, he was in a shopping center with his mother.
"I remember coming to the old Roses, which was on this site right here. And I remember something sounding like a train outside. And the only thing I remember is my mother covering me up. And I remember stuff flying around the store. And when the tornado, I remember us going outside. And my mother's car was turned around and both windows was burst out," said James Bethea.
One of the most vivid reminders of the storm still rests in Zack Rogers' family's front yard on Springdale Drive in Bennettsville.
A 28-foot long steel beam from a neighbor's porch landed in his front yard.
It's buried nearly eight feet deep in the ground.
Rogers said his father left it intact and put up a small monument with the date and time of the storm.
"The insurance companies, they sent a wrecker to move it, but Daddy said, 'No, I'm not gonna do that. It's a landmark'," said Rogers.
The storm also caused massive devastation in Scotland and Robeson counties.
According to theNational Weather Service, the storm killed three and injured 280 in Robeson County alone, mainly in Maxton and Red Springs. Damage exceeded $500,000.
The Carolinas tornado outbreak was one of the deadliest, most destructive tornado outbreaks in the history of the Carolinas.