Porters Neck tornado rips roof off house, destroys back porch

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Patsy and Jack Mackmull were at the Atlanta airport, ready to leave on vacation when they got a call they initially thought was a joke.

“John next door called us and said you need to come home, your house was hit by a tornado,” Patsy Mackmull recalled.

“I thought it was a joke, I said ‘I’m not in the mood for this, we’re getting ready to leave,’” Jack Mackmull added.

When the tornado hit the Mackmulls’ Porters Neck home, their dog sitter and two dogs were inside the house. All are OK.

The couple rushed to get home. When they finally returned, they found part of the roof blown off their house, their back porch destroyed, and trees and debris strewn everywhere.

“The tornado came through and blew out the glass lanai, on the side of our house it took the roof down to the rafters for the master bedroom, the two closets, and the bathrooms. Then Dorian came, and when Dorian came, that flooded the rest of the house,” Patsy said.

The EF-1 tornado blew out 400 pound glass panels, tossed patio furniture hundreds of feet, and snapped trees in half, leaving plenty of debris and broken glass left behind.

While most of the back porch was destroyed, other parts were seemingly untouched.

“Then you look at a corner in the lanai and a table and the birdhouse that’s on it weren’t touched. There’s a buffet in there, the door blew off, but none of the candles inside even moved. Tornadoes pick and choose where they want,” Patsy said.

The Mackmulls said they were unable to make it home until Friday, but when they got there many organizations were already there to help including Source Contracting, Baker Roofing, Your Peace of Mind dog sitting, Miracle Movers, Loggerhead Lawn Service, True Blue Restoration, and Armed Forces Insurance.

“We’re safe and sound and I cannot thank our neighbors at Porters Neck Plantation for being here within minutes,” Patsy said.

The couple’s Topsail Island home was destroyed during Florence, but they say they are thankful to be able to live there while their Porters Neck home gets repaired.

by Alex Guarino (2019, Sept 9 | Updated 2019, Sept 10) WECT

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Kyrie Wagner