Tornadoes devastated a small North Carolina town Saturday night. The storm claimed 21 people in North Carolina, and more than half of them lived in Bertie County.
WRAL-TV correspondent Tara Lynn reports that the storm's survivors are just starting to deal with the aftermath. One group of survivors were family members sifting through what little is left of Roy and Barbara Lafferty's home Sunday. The Lafftery's, along with Barbara's mother Helen, were killed when a tornado devastated the small town of Colerain.Death toll from storm system rises above 40
"I just had a gut feeling when I couldn't get them on the phone. I knew how close it had hit, I just had a feeling," said Kim Lafferty, the couple's daughter-in-law.
Kim Lafferty says their cat Oreo was the only survivor after the home was ripped from its foundation and torn apart. The family found the cat in a nearby shed afterward. They had just come home early from a vacation.
"Normally they are there all weekend long," Kim Lafferty said. "We don't know (why they came home early.) The only thing we can figure out is that it's God's plan."
Bertie County was hit harder than any other spot in the state. Officials confirmed that 11 people are dead in this mostly rural area.
"In Bertie, we just deal with these acts of Mother Nature and pull together and do the best we can and try again along with state and hopefully federal to help these people recover," said Rickey Freeman, Bertie Country Emergency Management. "So many people lost everything."
They've accounted for everyone here in Bertie County and now the hard part begins. They have to move on with their lives.