‘God took care of us,’ Autryville woman says after few injuries from tornado

AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A victim of Tuesday’s tornado in Sampson County came close to seeing her greatest fear become reality Wednesday.


Torie Turner was inside her mobile home in Autryville when winds peeled the roof off the top. She then began to worry about a lightning strike with a repeat tornado.

“I don’t want to be back in a storm. I don’t want to be back in another one, and I don’t want to die from another one,” Turner said Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the same area just a few hours later.

Family and friends spent much of the day helping Turner and her husband remove items from their open-air home before it started raining.

“I’m thankful things did turn out the way they did. As long as I wasn’t killed in this storm, and the trailer crashed for us to be killed, that’s a miracle to see today,” Turner said.

“My husband was standing at the doorway and he said, baby, the roof is gone. I said don’t tell me that.”

Assistant County Manager Susan Holder said the area was very fortunate that there were only minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes. Holder said the day after a tornado is literally about people picking up their lives. She said the silver lining is how communities rally around individuals.

Neighbors took to the streets of Autryville to remove debris from roads and yards. Chainsaw crews from volunteer firefighter departments and NC Baptists on Mission also joined in the recovery efforts.


Chainsaw crews from volunteer firefighter departments and N.C. Baptists on Mission also joined in the recovery efforts.

“I just tell them we’re sorry for the trouble they’re going through, and if there’s anything we can do to help let us know, and that we’ll be praying for you,” said Larry Matthews of Woodland Baptist Church in Wake Forest.

Autryville residents Teresa Player and Sue Dumont said there was plenty of praying in the town during the storm. They said the prayers paid off.

“God took care of us. He had a hedge of protection over Autryville and took care of us. We can rebuild this. We’re okay,” Player said.

“I thought it was thunder, but it was long. I’m on the flight path to Fort Bragg, and I’m like ‘is that a low flying plane’ because it was getting loud,” she said.

“I opened up the sewing room door and I looked and screamed ‘tornado,’ because all you see, you see it going around and around. You see debris going everywhere.”

The United Way of Sampson County delivered some supplies such as linens and kitchen utensils to Turner’s family.

The Sandhills chapter of the American Red Cross also provided some financial assistance.

“It’s never enough, but we help all we can,” Red Cross volunteer Ray Carnes said. “We really have a lot of compassion for these people and we try to help every way we can.”

Wednesday’s downpours soaked Autryville but there was no additional wind damage to the area.


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