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3 dead, 10 injured in tornado near Wilmington, North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. — North Carolina authorities say at least three people are dead and 10 others were injured after a tornado ripped through Brunswick County, leaving a trail of heavy destruction.

Officials say the tornado hit just after midnight Tuesday in southeastern Brunswick County near Grissettown in the Ocean Ridge Plantation Community, destroying homes, downing powerlines and snapping trees in half.

Brunswick County Emergency Management says people were trapped in homes.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram says searches for missing people were underway and will increase during the day. He’s asked people to avoid the area while crews work to clear the streets and search for victims.

The tornado struck North Carolina the same day that winter storms blew across parts of the South and Midwest, killing at least five people and leaving millions without power.

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