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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The National Weather Service confirmed reports of a funnel cloud moving through Wilmington Monday evening.
Initial calls of a possible tornado first came in from the area of 17th Street and George Anderson in Wilmington. Witnesses near the intersection of Shipyard Boulevard and South College road told WECT.com that they saw a spinning formation moving north.
Donna Thompson was driving south, toward the storm. She pulled her car over as soon as she could.
"By the time I was off the road, it was gone," she said.
Just down the street off Holly Tree Road, Patty Sneeden said she saw two separate water spouts shoot out of a nearby marsh. She said it all happened so fast that she had trouble understanding the situation.
"It didn't last long, but it was enough to scare me," Sneeden said.
It also managed to pull a young tree from the ground, break Sneeden's backyard tent and kick around a few trash cans in the neighborhood.
The National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning during Monday's events, but UNCW issued an alert for the main campus telling people to take shelter. An 'all clear' message was sent out just before 4:45 p.m.
A spokesperson for the university said UNCW's Environmental Health and Safety Team has the authority to issue a campus-wide warning. The team submitted funnel cloud reports to NWS, and sent out its own warning.
UNCW will always err on the side of safety in a severe weather situation, according to the spokesperson.
Brunswick County EMS reports funnel clouds were spotted along the coast in Horry and New Hanover Counties Monday afternoon. These funnels are not tornados and should remain aloft.
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