10 years ago Friday, 30 tornadoes swept across NC, killing 24

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On April 16, 2011, North Carolina’s worst tornado outbreak on record killed 24 people after a total of 30 tornadoes touched down.

Thirteen of those tornadoes were classified by the National Weather Services as “strong” with some of those hitting highly-populated areas like downtown Raleigh.

Of the 13 tornadoes, five were EF-3 and eight were EF-2.

The storms killed 24 in the state that day and hundreds were left injured. Two tornadoes, one that ran from Sanford to Raleigh and another from Fayetteville to Smithfield, injured at least 100 each, NWS reports.  

The Sanford-Raleigh tornado would weak and strengthen again as it moved from Sanford to Chatham County and then into Wake County.

In Holly Springs, damage consistent with an EF-0 to EF-1 tornado was left behind.

The tornado then moved into downtown Raleigh, where it intensified as it moved into the northeast part of the city.

“A persistent path of EF-2 damage was noted in Raleigh from Stony Brook Drive to Buffalo Road and Forestville Drive,” NWS said.

Along with the human lives lost, the storms caused $328,610,000 in damage across the state. The Sanford-Raleigh tornado caused $172,075,000 in damage alone.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported more than 900 homes and businesses were destroyed and more than 6,400 were damaged across the state.

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