BURKE COUNTY, N.C. – A Burke County couple said they're lucky to be alive after a confirmed tornado demolished their home Wednesday night. Their home was one of 34 destroyed in Burke County.
Eddie and Rhonda Lane managed to survive a powerful tornado that left them with nothing.
"We heard it on the news and they said it was coming up Johnson Bridge Road and two minutes later it was roaring -- and that was it," Rhonda said.
Eddie managed to get himself and his wife to a safe place in the kitchen before the tornado knocked them out.
"By the time we got to the kitchen, our house was shaking real bad and he slammed me to the floor and he was holding on. All I remember was going in circles," Rhonda said. "We think it knocked us both out for a couple of seconds."
When they both woke up they realized their house had been moved off its foundation more than 30 yards away.
Eddie and Rhonda were lodged between an oil tank and stove.
"I got six stitches on my kneecap," Eddie said. "My other leg is banged up. My arm, my hand and my other arm is tore up."
Overall, officials said 168 total structures were damamged in Burke County alone, resulting in $13.4 million in losses.
The Burke County couple understands how lucky they were to survive a scary incident.
"I just thank God," Rhonda said. "He was here and he was holding on to us, and he was keeping us safe in all of this."
Strong storms, tornado rip through Burke and Rutherford counties
More than 50 homes were damaged and at least 15 people were hurt when two tornadoes pounded across Burke and Rutherford counties Wednesday night.
Ten people were hurt in Ellenboro in Rutherford County, Sheriff's Sgt. Dwayne Wright said. Two of the injuries were serious, but Sgt. Wright did not know the extent of the injuries.
The National Weather Service confirmed an E-F 2 tornado with winds up to 115 mph came through Rutherford County Wednesday. The NWS also said an E-F 2 tornado hit eastern Burke County, with winds up to 130 mph and the most significant damage in the Hildebran community near Interstate 40.
Officials are still assessing the damage and working to confirm if a tornado came through Burke County.
At least 10 buildings were damaged in a three-square-mile residential area, but Wright said officials expected to get a better count on the damage during surveys Thursday.
Some people initially were trapped in their homes.
"Everybody's out that we know of," Wright said. "As far as we know, everybody has been accounted for."
At least five people were hurt when the storm struck a few minutes later in the Icard area of Burke County, according to county officials.
According to the Red Cross, 56 homes were damaged, with nine of them being destroyed by the storm. Five other homes had major damage.
A Red Cross shelter was opened in Burke County at First Baptist Church on Highway 70 in Icard, and 24 residents are being taken care of there.
There is a limited state of emergency for portions of Burke County, including Icard and Hildebran. People are asked to stay out, according to Burke County EMS officials.
Meanwhile in Hickory, a NewsChannel 36 viewer reported penny-sized hail around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The final tornado warnings were canceled by 6:40 p.m. Alexander, Catawba, Burke, Rutherford and Caldwell counties were each under tornado warnings at various times throughout Wednesday evening.
Most of the Charlotte metro area felt rain on and off throughout the day, but severe thunderstorms never developed.