CAMDEN — A high-wind event damaged two homes and other property in a waterfront subdivision in Camden County as Tropical Storm Elsa was crossing the region Thursday evening.
No injuries were reported in the high-wind event at Taylors Beach, law enforcement and emergency management officials said Friday.
Brian Parnell, emergency management coordinator for Pasquotank and Camden counties, said two homes on Sunset Avenue were damaged in the storm. One sustained significant damage, the other minor damage, he said. A third property was also affected but no structural damage to the home was reported, he said. All three homes are habitable, he said.
Chief Deputy Rodney Meads of the Camden Sheriff’s Office said responding deputies also observed damage to several vehicles and watercraft at the three Taylors Beach properties. Photographs supplied by a Taylors Beach resident also showed downed trees.
Parnell said it’s unclear right now what kind of high-wind event caused the damage.
“We don’t know what it was,” he said. “We working on the assumption it was a waterspout — which is nothing but a tornado over the water — a tornado, or straight-line winds.”
Parnell, who visited Taylors Beach Thursday night, said a resident told a law enforcement official that they saw a waterspout over the Pasquotank River just prior to the high-wind event. Parnell said he talked to a resident who said they heard the wind event as it was happening.
Parnell said the National Weather Service will ultimately determine the nature of the high-wind event at Taylors Beach.
“We send information to them and they look at several key indicators, including radar footage of the area at the time,” he said.
Weather service officials could also make a site visit before making a determination, he said. Reached for an update later, however, he said weather service officials don’t plan to visit Taylors Beach.
“Right now, no determination (of the wind event’s nature) has been made,” he said.
All three homes at Taylors Beach were occupied at the time of the high-wind event, which was reported around 8:20 p.m., Parnell said. He said there was no prior warning it was coming.
“There was no tornado warning, alerts or notifications for that area,” Parnell said.
The region was under a tornado watch and tornado warnings were issued for parts of Pasquotank and Camden earlier in the evening, but those were for the northern and western sides of the two counties, Parnell said. Taylors Beach is located on the southeastern side of Camden.
“There was no radar indication to warrant a tornado warning for that area,” he said.
Parnell said he wasn’t sure what the weather service’s timetable will be for making a determination about Thursday’s wind event.
Neither Parnell nor Meads were aware of any other reports of damage in Camden from Thursday’s storm. None was reported in Pasquotank or neighboring counties.
Dominion Energy’s outage map was showing an outage in the Taylors Beach area affecting 35 customers as of 8:40 a.m. A subdivision resident said power was restored just before noon.
The only other Dominion outage in the area, according to the map, was in the Rocky Hock Road area of Chowan County where seven customers were without power as of 8:40 a.m. That outage was over by late afternoon, according to the map.
A press release from Dominion also noted the storm brought down multiple power lines and broke several power poles and cross arms in Williamston and Plymouth. As of 7 p.m., 98 customers were still without power in Plymouth and six were without power in Williamston, according to Dominion’s outage map.
Albemarle Electric Membership Corp. did not report any outages from the storm, a spokesman said.