NWS confirms EF-1 tornado touched down in Iredell, Alexander counties

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — Neighbors in Alexander County had to scramble to take shelter Tuesday after a tornado was spotted near the Iredell County line.

According to the National Weather Service, at 11:15 a.m. a confirmed EF-1 tornado was located 7 miles east of Taylorsville, moving north at 15 mph. Emergency management officials confirmed a tornado was on the ground.

The NWS said the tornado developed over Massey Deal Road, just west of Old Mountain Road in Iredell County before crossing into Alexander County. Officials said the tornado appeared to lift near Lentz Road, just west of Highway 64.

(VIEWER VIDEO: Storm on Old Mountain Road in Iredell County)

Along Lentz Road in Alexander County, south of Hiddenite, Cindy Wessollek could see nearly a dozen trees down near her home.

She was watching her grandchildren on Tuesday when an alert went off about a possible tornado in the area. She told Channel 9 she went to an interior closet and hunkered down with her grandchildren until the storm passed.

“Took them to the bedroom and got in a closet,” Wessollek said. “The one was freaking out because he knew -- he heard it. ‘We just gotta get in here we’ll be alright, we’ll be alright.’ He was paranoid. He was terrified.”

Alexander County Emergency Services said the storm came up from the south, forming in Iredell County and then following Old Mountain Road north.

Rene Stamey rushed home when she heard about the storm to make sure her children were OK. She said she was surprised that a tropical system that made landfall hundreds of miles away in Florida could cause damage in North Carolina.

“I really didn’t expect it,” Stamey said. “I knew we would get some rain and wind off of it but never expected a tornado.”

Officials were driving around all afternoon after the tornado was reported but said they did not find anyone hurt. The NWS said a few homes suffered minor damage.

(WATCH BELOW: Safest Places In Your Home During A Tornado)