ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Officials in Richmond County are trying to determine whether a tornado touched down in the area. A severe thunderstorm moved through the southwestern part of the county Monday afternoon.
The sheriff's office said there was property damage along Osborne Road and Fairly Hayes Road. Three houses were damaged and a number of trees are down. There are no reports of any injuries.
After a relaxing morning fishing.. Larry Chavis drove home, and witnessed something unreal and terrifying at the same time.
"It was a big cloud to start out with, and then it turned into a funnel," said Chavis. "We were sitting in the middle of the road up here, and the next thing we seen was debris going in the air."
Just yards away Chavis nearly came in direct contact with what he and emergency leaders believed to be a small tornado.
The suspected tornado cause serious damage to at least five homes -- including two with severely damaged roofs -- in the Rockingham area community of Diggs.
The weather also crushed this side building like tin foil, scattered debris everywhere, and snapped a number of trees along Fairly Hayes Road.
"Total shock, kind of scared, one of our good friends was in the next house over asleep," said Jennifer Horne.
That person was OK, as was everyone else along Mother Nature's path. In the calm after the storm, neighbors and crews were quick to lend a hand -- tarping, moving valuables and securing foundations.
The Richmond County emergency manager has been relaying updates to the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service.
A spokesperson with them said a survey team will be sent in Tuesday morning to assess the damage and make a determination whether a tornado did in fact touch down.
The American Red Cross is assisting affected families.